A Game-Theoretic Model of Asymmetric Carrier Sensing in IEEE 802.11 Wireless Networks

E. Yang, J. Kang, and M.Q. Cha (Korea)


IEEE 802.11 Medium Access Control, PerformanceAnalysis, Game-theory.


Many of today’s commercial 802.11 devices allow users to tune their system parameters including carrier sensing threshold, transmit power and so on. Even in non cooperative environments, where each rational node is trying to maximize his own throughput irrespective of the total network performance, all rational nodes may want to sense hidden nodes not to suffer from heavy collisions. In this paper, however, we identify the effect of an 802.11 node’s selfish behavior that decreases its tunable carrier sensing range intentionally by adopting a large value of carrier sensing threshold. We use the multi-hop throughput model to compute the throughput of asymmetric hidden nodes and develop a game-theoretical model and show that the selfish behavior can result in higher throughput than other rational nodes and can bring about undesirable Nash equilibrium in terms of total network performance.

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