Enhancing cooperation in wireless networks using different concepts of game theory
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Optimizing radio resource within a network and across cooperating heterogeneous networks is the focus of this thesis. Cooperation in a multi-network environment is tackled by investigating network selection mechanisms. These play an important role in ensuring quality of service for users in a multi-network environment. Churning of mobile users from one service provider to another is already common when people change contracts and in a heterogeneous communication environment, where mobile users have freedom to choose the best wireless service-real time selection is expected to become common feature. This real time selection impacts both the technical and the economic aspects of wireless network operations. Next generation wireless networks will enable a dynamic environment whereby the nodes of the same or even different network operator can interact and cooperate to improve their performance. Cooperation has emerged as a novel communication paradigm that can yield tremendous performance gains from the physical layer all the way up to the application layer. Game theory and in particular coalitional game theory is a highly suited mathematical tool for modelling cooperation between wireless networks and is investigated in this thesis. In this thesis, the churning behaviour of wireless service users is modelled by using evolutionary game theory in the context of WLAN access points and WiMAX networks. This approach illustrates how to improve the user perceived QoS in heterogeneous networks using a two-layered optimization. The top layer views the problem of prediction of the network that would be chosen by a user where the criteria are offered bit rate, price, mobility support and reputation. At the second level, conditional on the strategies chosen by the users, the network provider hypothetically, reconfigures the network, subject to the network constraints of bandwidth and acceptable SNR and optimizes the network coverage to support users who would otherwise not be serviced adequately. This forms an iterative cycle until a solution that optimizes the user satisfaction subject to the adjustments that the network provider can make to mitigate the binding constraints, is found and applied to the real network. The evolutionary equilibrium, which is used to 3 compute the average number of users choosing each wireless service, is taken as the solution. This thesis also proposes a fair and practical cooperation framework in which the base stations belonging to the same network provider cooperate, to serve each other‘s customers. How this cooperation can potentially increase their aggregate payoffs through efficient utilization of resources is shown for the case of dynamic frequency allocation. This cooperation framework needs to intelligently determine the cooperating partner and provide a rational basis for sharing aggregate payoff between the cooperative partners for the stability of the coalition. The optimum cooperation strategy, which involves the allocations of the channels to mobile customers, can be obtained as solutions of linear programming optimizations.
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