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Reputation based selfishness prevention techniques for mobile ad-hoc networks


Mobile ad-hoc networks require nodes to cooperate in the relaying of data from source to destination. However, due to their limited resources, selfish nodes may be unwilling to forward packets, which can deteriorate the multi-hop connectivity. Different reputation-based protocols have been proposed to cope with selfishness in mobile ad-hoc networks. These protocols utilize the watchdog detection mechanism to observe the correct relaying of packets, and to compile information about potential selfish nodes. This information is used to prevent the participation of selfish nodes in the establishment of multi-hop routes. Despite its wide use, watchdog tends to overestimate the selfish behavior of nodes due to the effects of radio transmission errors or packet collisions that can be mistaken for intentional packet drops. As a result, the availability of valid multi-hop routes is reduced, and the overall performance deteriorates. This paper proposes and evaluates three detection techniques that improve the ability of selfishness prevention protocols to detect selfish nodes and to increase the number of valid routes.

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  1. Unless otherwise stated, the numerical values of the implementation parameters are chosen following the indications in the original implementation of Marti’s protocol [12] (see Table 1).

  2. The figures indicate the maximum improvement that can be obtained by any of the proposed techniques, as well as the mean percentage of radio transmission errors for each power level.


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This work has been supported by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (Spain) and FEDER funds under the project TEC2008-06728, by the Local Government of Valencia under the projects ACOMP/2010/111 and BFPI/2007/269, and by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade (Spain) under the project TSI-020400-2008-113 (CELTIC proposal CP5-013).

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Correspondence to Alberto Rodriguez-Mayol.

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Rodriguez-Mayol, A., Gozalvez, J. Reputation based selfishness prevention techniques for mobile ad-hoc networks. Telecommun Syst 57, 181–195 (2014).

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  • Mobile ad-hoc networks
  • Selfishness
  • Reputation techniques
  • Watchdog