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Incentivizing Wi-Fi Network Crowdsourcing: A Contract Theoretic Approach

by   Qian Ma, et al.
Chinese Academy of Science
Harbin Institute of Technology

Crowdsourced wireless community network enables individual users to share their private Wi-Fi access points (APs) with each other, hence can achieve a large Wi-Fi coverage with a small deployment cost via crowdsourcing. This paper presents a novel contract-based incentive framework to incentivize such a Wi-Fi network crowdsourcing under incomplete information (where each user has certain private information such as mobility pattern and Wi-Fi access quality). In the proposed framework, the network operator designs and offers a set of contract items to users, each consisting of a Wi-Fi access price (that a user can charge others for accessing his AP) and a subscription fee (that a user needs to pay the operator for joining the community). Different from the existing contracts in the literature, in our contract model each user's best choice depends not only on his private information but also on other users' choices. This greatly complicates the contract design, as the operator needs to analyze the equilibrium choices of all users, rather than the best choice of each single user. We first derive the feasible contract that guarantees the users' truthful information disclosure based on the equilibrium analysis of user choice, and then derive the optimal (and feasible) contract that yields the maximal profit for the operator. Our analysis shows that a user who provides a higher Wi-Fi access quality is more likely to choose a higher Wi-Fi access price and subscription fee, regardless of the user mobility pattern. Simulation results further show that when increasing the average Wi-Fi access quality of users, the operator can gain more profit, but (counter-intuitively) offer lower Wi-Fi access prices and subscription fees for users.


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