Throughput-oriented MAC for mobile ad hoc networks: A game-theoretic approach

Fan Wang, Ossama Younis, Marwan Krunz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The conservative nature of the 802.11 channel access scheme has instigated extensive research whose goal is to improve the spatial reuse and/or energy consumption of a mobile ad hoc network. Transmission power control (TPC) was shown to be effective in achieving this goal. Despite their demonstrated performance gains, previously proposed power-controlled channel access protocols often incur extra hardware cost (e.g., require multiple transceivers). Furthermore, they do not fully exploit the potential of power control due to the heuristic nature of power allocation. In this paper, we propose a distributed, single-channel MAC protocol (GMAC) that is inspired by game theory. In GMAC, each transmitter computes a utility function that maximizes the link's achievable throughput. The utility function includes a pricing factor that accounts for energy consumption. GMAC allows multiple potential transmitters to contend through an admission phase that enables them to determine the transmission powers that achieve the Nash equilibrium (NE). Simulation results indicate that GMAC significantly improves the network throughput over the 802.11 scheme and over another single-channel power-controlled MAC protocol (POWMAC). These gains are achieved at no extra energy cost. Our results also indicate that GMAC performs best under high node densities and large data packet sizes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-117
Number of pages20
JournalAd Hoc Networks
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Game theory
  • IEEE 802.11
  • MAC protocol
  • Mobile ad hoc networks
  • Power control
  • Throughput

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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