Evaluating the Cost of Enforcement by Agent-Based Simulation: A Wireless Mobile Grid Example

  • Tina Balke
  • Marina De Vos
  • Julian Padget
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8291)


The subject of this paper is the cost of enforcement, to which we take a satisficing approach through the examination of marginal cost-benefit ratios. Social simulation is used to establish that less enforcement can be beneficial overall in economic terms, depending on the costs to system and/or stakeholders arising from enforcement. The results are demonstrated by means of a case study of wireless mobile grids (WMGs). In such systems the dominant strategy for economically rational users is to free-ride, i.e. to benefit from the system without contributing to it. We examine the use of enforcement agents that police the system and punish users that take but do not give. The agent-based simulation shows that a certain proportion of enforcement agents increases cooperation in WMG architectures. The novelty of the results lies in our empirical evidence for the diminishing marginal utility of enforcement agents: that is how much defection they can foreclose at what cost. We show that an increase in the number of enforcement agents does not always increase the overall benefits-cost ratio, but that with respect to satisficing, a minimum proportion of enforcement agents can be identified that yields the best results.


Mobile Phone Enforcement Mechanism Average Energy Consumption Cooperation Partner Social Simulation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tina Balke
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marina De Vos
    • 2
  • Julian Padget
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Research in Social SimulationUniversity of SurreyUK
  2. 2.Dept. of Computer ScienceUniversity of BathUK

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