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Consider a Mobile Ad hoc NETwork (MANET) where packet transmissions occur between mobile nodes. Such a network requires that the nodes act as relays to form multi-hop routes connecting the origin-destination node pairs that are out of radio transmission range with respect to each other. If the nodes do not to belong the same authority, then the nodes must be given an incentive to spend their resources (battery power and transmission bandwidth) in forwarding packets that originate at other nodes. This can be done by introducing a credit balance for each node, where the nodes use credits to pay for the costs of sending their own traffic, and earn credits by forwarding traffic from other nodes.
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