In a context sensing system in which a sensor-equipped mobile phone runs an unreliable context-aware application, the application can infer the user’s contexts, based on which it provides personalized services. However, the application may sell the user’s contexts to some malicious adversaries to earn extra profits, which will hinder its widespread use. In the real world, the actions of the user, the application and the adversary in the context sensing system affect each other, so that their payoffs are constrained mutually. To figure out under which conditions they behave well (the user releases, the application does not leak and the adversary does not retrieve the context), we take advantage of game theory to analyze the context sensing system. We use the extensive form game and the repeated game, respectively, to analyze two typical scenarios, single interaction and multiple interaction among three players, from which Nash equilibriums and cooperation conditions are obtained. Our results show that the reputation mechanism for the context-sensing system in the former scenario is crucial to privacy preservation, so is the extent to which the participants are concerned about future payoffs in the latter one.
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