Who Should Pay for Forwarding Packets?

H. Ackermann, P. Briest, A. Fanghänel, B. Vöcking, Internet Mathematics 5 (2008) 459–475.

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Journal Article | Published | English
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Abstract
We present a game theoretic study of hybrid communication networks in which mobile devices can connect in an ad hoc fashion to a base station, possibly via a few hops using other mobile devices as intermediate nodes. The maximal number of allowed hops might be bounded with the motivation to guarantee small latency. We introduce hybrid connectivity games to study the impact of selfishness on this kind of infrastructure. Mobile devices are represented by selfish players, each of which aims at establishing an uplink path to the base station minimizing its individual cost. Our model assumes that intermediate nodes on an uplink path are reimbursed for transmitting the packets of other devices. The reimbursements can be paid either by a benevolent network operator or by the senders of the packets using micropayments via a clearing agency that possibly collects a small percentage as commission. These different ways to implement the payments lead to different variants of the hybrid connectivity game. Our main findings are: (1) If there is no constraint on the number of allowed hops on the path to the base station, then the existence of equilibria is guaranteed regardless of whether the network operator or the senders pay for forwarding packets. (2) If the network operator pays, then the existence of equilibria is guaranteed only if at most one intermediate node is allowed, i.e., for at most two hops on the uplink path of a device, but not if the maximal number of allowed hops is three or larger. (3) In contrast, if the senders pay for forwarding their packets, then equilibria are guaranteed to exist given any bound on the number of allowed hops. The equilibrium analysis presented in this paper gives a first game theoretical motivation for the implementation of micropayment schemes in which senders pay for forwarding their packets. We further support this evidence by giving an upper bound on the Price of Anarchy for this kind of hybrid connectivity games that is independent of the number of nodes, but only depends on the number of hops and the power gradient.
Publishing Year
Journal Title
Internet Mathematics
Volume
5
Issue
4
Page
459-475
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Ackermann H, Briest P, Fanghänel A, Vöcking B. Who Should Pay for Forwarding Packets? Internet Mathematics. 2008;5(4):459-475. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-77105-0_21
Ackermann, H., Briest, P., Fanghänel, A., & Vöcking, B. (2008). Who Should Pay for Forwarding Packets? Internet Mathematics, 5(4), 459–475. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-77105-0_21
@article{Ackermann_Briest_Fanghänel_Vöcking_2008, title={Who Should Pay for Forwarding Packets?}, volume={5}, DOI={10.1007/978-3-540-77105-0_21}, number={4}, journal={Internet Mathematics}, publisher={Springer}, author={Ackermann, Heiner and Briest, Patrick and Fanghänel, Alexander and Vöcking, Berthold}, year={2008}, pages={459–475} }
Ackermann, Heiner, Patrick Briest, Alexander Fanghänel, and Berthold Vöcking. “Who Should Pay for Forwarding Packets?” Internet Mathematics 5, no. 4 (2008): 459–75. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-77105-0_21.
H. Ackermann, P. Briest, A. Fanghänel, and B. Vöcking, “Who Should Pay for Forwarding Packets?,” Internet Mathematics, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 459–475, 2008.
Ackermann, Heiner, et al. “Who Should Pay for Forwarding Packets?” Internet Mathematics, vol. 5, no. 4, Springer, 2008, pp. 459–75, doi:10.1007/978-3-540-77105-0_21.

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