Sybil-Resistant Meta Strategies for the Forwarder's Dilemma

Yunus Durmus, Andreas Loukas, Koen Langendoen, Ertan Onur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Cooperation is the foundation of wireless ad hoc networks with nodes forwarding their neighbors' packets for the common good. However, energy and bandwidth constraints combined with selfish behaviour lead to collapsed networks where all nodes defect. Researchers have tried to incentivize or enforce the nodes for cooperation in various ways. However, these techniques do not consider the heterogeneous networks in which a diverse set of nodes with different cognitive capabilities exist. Furthermore, in ad hoc networks identity is a fuzzy concept. It is easy to forge multiple identities and hide defective behaviour. Moreover, the nature of the wireless medium is always ambiguous due to collisions, interference and asymmetric links. In all this uncertainty, having complete information about the intentions of the nodes and acting on it is not straightforward. Backed by evolutionary game theory and multi-agent systems research, we adapt and modify two meta strategies to embrace this uncertainty. These modified meta strategies, Win Stay Loose Shift and Stochastic Imitate Best Strategy, do not require strict identity information and only depend on nodes' own capabilities. Nodes monitor the traffic in their neighbourhood by using a two-hop overhearing method, and decide whether they should be cooperative or defective. We show that nodes are able to discover and use the best strategy in their locality and protect themselves against the exploitation by free riders who devise Sybil attacks by changing their identities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2014 IEEE Eighth International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems
EditorsR. Bilof
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4799-5367-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014
Event2014 IEEE 8th International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Sept 201412 Sept 2014
Conference number: 8th

Publication series



Conference2014 IEEE 8th International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Wireless Ad Hoc Networks
  • Forwarder’s Dilemma
  • Cooperation
  • Evolutionary Game Theory
  • Network Reciprocity
  • WinStay Loose Shift
  • Imitate Best Strategy


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