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Published December 2007 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Contention control: A game-theoretic approach


We present a game-theoretic approach to contention control. We define a game-theoretic model, called random access game, to capture the contention/interaction among wireless nodes in wireless networks with contention-based medium access. We characterize Nash equilibria of random access games, study their dynamics and propose distributed algorithms (strategy evolutions) to achieve the Nash equilibria. This provides a general analytical framework that is capable of modelling a large class of systemwide quality of service models via the specification of per-node utility functions, in which systemwide fairness or service differentiation can be achieved in a distributed manner as long as each node executes a contention resolution algorithm that is designed to achieve the Nash equilibrium. We thus design medium access method according to distributed strategy update mechanism achieving the Nash equilibrium of random access game. In addition to guiding medium access control design, the random access game model also provides an analytical framework to understand equilibrium and dynamic properties of different medium access protocols and their interactions.

Additional Information

© 2008 IEEE. Reprinted with permission. Date Published in Issue: 2008-01-21. This work is partially supported by NSF through grants CNS-0435520 and CCR-0326554, DARPA through grant HR0011-06-1-0007, and Boeing.

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