A Game-Theoretic Framework for Decentralized Cooperative Data Exchange using Network Coding

Ahmed Douik, Sameh Sorour, Hamidou Tembine, Tareq Y. Al-Naffouri, Mohamed-Slim Alouini

In this paper, we introduce a game theoretic framework for studying the problem of minimizing the delay of instantly decodable network coding (IDNC) for cooperative data exchange (CDE) in decentralized wireless network. In this configuration, clients cooperate with each other to recover the erased packets without a central controller. Game theory is employed herein as a tool for improving the distributed solution by overcoming the need for a central controller or additional signaling in the system. We model the session by self-interested players in a non-cooperative potential game. The utility functions are designed such that increasing individual payoff results in a collective behavior achieving both a desirable system performance in a shared network environment and the Nash bargaining solution. Three games are developed: the first aims to reduce the completion time, the second to reduce the maximum decoding delay and the third the sum decoding delay. We improve these formulations to include punishment policy upon collision occurrence and achieve the Nash bargaining solution. Through extensive simulations, our framework is tested against the best performance that could be found in the conventional point-to-multipoint (PMP) recovery process in numerous cases: first we simulate the problem with complete information. We, then, simulate with incomplete information and finally we test it in lossy feedback scenario. Numerical results show that our formulation with complete information largely outperforms the conventional PMP scheme in most situations and achieves a lower delay. They also show that the completion time formulation with incomplete information also outperforms the conventional PMP.

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