The Price of Selfishness in Network Coding
A game theoretic framework is introduced for studying selfish user behavior in shared wireless networks. Specifically, the investigation treats an n-unicast problem in a wireless network that employs a restricted form of network coding called reverse carpooling. Each unicast session independently chooses a route from its transmitter to its receiver. The true cost of a particular set of unicast routes is the number of wireless transmissions required to establish the n-unicast connections across the network using those routes; the authors here assume the optimal application of reverse carpooling network codes for the routes in operation. A family of mechanisms for distributing the cost of a solution among the participating unicasts is studied; each mechanism is independent of the network topology.