VPEF: A Simple and Effective Incentive Mechanism in Community-Based Autonomous Networks

This paper focuses on incentivizing cooperative behavior in community-based autonomous networkingenvironments (like mobile social networks, etc.), in which through dynamically forming virtual and/or physical communities, users voluntarily participate in and contribute resources (or provide services) tothe community while consuming. Specifically, we proposed a simple but effective EGT (Evolutionary Game Theory)-based mechanism, VPEF (Voluntary Principle and round-based Entry Fee), to drive thenetworking environment into cooperative.

VPEF builds incentive mechanism as two simple system rules: The first is VP meaning that all behaviors are voluntarily conducted by users: Users voluntarily participate (after paying round-based entry fee), voluntarily contribute resource, and voluntarily punish other defectors (incurring extra cost to those so-called punishers); The second is EF meaning that an arbitrarily small round-based entry fee is set for each user who wants to participate in the community. We presented a generic analytical framework of evolutionary dynamics to model VPEF scheme, and theoretically proved that VPEF scheme’s efficiency loss defined as the ratio of system time, in which no users will provide resource, is $4/(8+M)$. $M$ is the number of users in community-based collaborative system. Finally, the simulated results using content availability as an example verified our theoretical analysis.