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  1. We aim to preserve a large amount of data generated insidebase station-less sensor networks(BSNs) while considering that sensor nodes are selfish. BSNs refer to emerging sensing applications deployed in challenging and inhospitable environments (e.g., underwater exploration); as such, there do not exist data-collecting base stations in the BSN to collect the data. Consequently, the generated data has to be stored inside the BSN before uploading opportunities become available. Our goal is to preserve the data inside the BSN with minimum energy cost by incentivizing the storage- and energy-constrained sensor nodes to participate in the data preservation process. We refer to the problem as DPP:datapreservationproblem in the BSN. Previous research assumes that all the sensor nodes are cooperative and that sensors have infinite battery power and design a minimum-cost flow-based data preservation solution. However, in a distributed setting and under different control, the resource-constrained sensor nodes could behave selfishly only to conserve their resources and maximize their benefit.

    In this article, we first solve DPP by designing an integer linear programming (ILP)-based optimal solution without considering selfishness. We then establish a game-theoretical framework that achieves provably truthful and optimal data preservation in BSNs. For a special case of DPP wherein nodes are not energy-constrained, referred to as DPP-W, we design a data preservation game DPG-1 that integrates algorithmic mechanism design (AMD) and a more efficient minimum cost flow-based data preservation solution. We show that DPG-1 yields dominant strategies for sensor nodes and delivers truthful and optimal data preservation. For the general case of DPP (wherein nodes are energy-constrained), however, DPG-1 fails to achieve truthful and optimal data preservation. Utilizing packet-level flow observation of sensor node behaviors computed by minimum cost flow and ILP, we uncover the cause of the failure of the DPG-1. It is due to the packet dropping by the selfish nodes that manipulate the AMD technique. We then design a data preservation game DPG-2 for DPP that traces and punishes manipulative nodes in the BSN. We show that DPG-2 delivers dominant strategies for truth-telling nodes and achieves provably optimal data preservation with cheat-proof guarantees. Via extensive simulations under different network parameters and dynamics, we show that our games achieve system-wide data preservation solutions with optimal energy cost while enforcing truth-telling of sensor nodes about their private cost types. One salient feature of our work is its integrated game theory and network flows approach. With the observation of flow level sensor node behaviors provided by the network flows, our proposed games can synthesize “microscopic” (i.e., selfish and local) behaviors of sensor nodes and yield targeted “macroscopic” (i.e., optimal and global) network performance of data preservation in the BSN.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 19, 2024