Vehicular Ad-hoc NETwork (VANET) is a special mobile ad hoc network that composed of facilities such as vehicle nodes and roadside units. Message transfer among vehicle nodes has been a great challenge due to the network’s highly variable topology and the selfish nature of vehicle nodes. Thus, it is very necessary to propose a mechanism to improve the cooperation among vehicle nodes to guarantee the effective message transmission. Currently, incentive-based cooperation mechanisms are commonly used to encourage nodes to participate in message transmission. Those mechanisms are based on traditional economics and generally assume that the decision-making behavior of nodes is completely independent. Also, the cooperation of nodes depends on whether the cooperation behavior can obtain the higher utility. But researches in behavioral economics have shown that due to the existence of altruistic reciprocity, the behavior of nodes is affected by not only their utility but also the behavioral motives of other nodes, so as to obtain different results from traditional incentive-based mechanisms. Therefore, the paper introduces the reciprocal altruistic from behavioral economics and proposes the reciprocal altruistic factor to reconstruct the utility function of nodes. The reconstructed utility function reflects the interaction of behavioral motives among nodes, which promotes the node’s cooperative behavior. Also, since the Network Formation Game (NFG) is a common mathematical model for studying the interaction and communication links formation among network nodes, hence the paper regards NFG in traditional economics as the research object. A Behavior Economics-based Message Transmission Cooperation Guarantee Mechanism named BMCGM is proposed, which motivates nodes to participate in the message transmission to reduce the transmission delay ratio. The simulation results show that the BMCGM reduces message transmission delay by at least 30.3% compared with the recent representative cooperation transmission mechanism.


Computer Science

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© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


Behavior economics, Cooperative communication, Network formation game, Reciprocal altruistic, Vanets

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Sensors (Switzerland)