A game theory based reputation mechanism to incentivize cooperation in wireless ad hoc networks

Juan José Jaramillo, R. Srikant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In wireless ad hoc networks one way to incentivize nodes to forward other nodes' packets is through the use of reputation mechanisms, where cooperation is induced by the threat of partial or total network disconnection if a node acts selfishly. The problem is that packet collisions and interference may make cooperative nodes appear selfish sometimes, generating unnecessary and unwanted punishments. With the use of a simple network model we first study the performance of some proposed reputation strategies and then present a new mechanism called DARWIN (Distributed and Adaptive Reputation mechanism for Wireless ad hoc Networks), where we try to avoid retaliation situations after a node is falsely perceived as selfish to help restore cooperation quickly. Using game theory, we prove that our mechanism is robust to imperfect measurements, is collusion-resistant and can achieve full cooperation among nodes. Simulations are presented to complement our theoretical analysis and evaluate the performance of our algorithm compared to other proposed reputation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-429
Number of pages14
JournalAd Hoc Networks
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Ad hoc networks
  • Cooperation enforcement
  • Incentive schemes
  • Reputation mechanisms
  • Wireless networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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