A Game-theoretic Analysis of Link Adaptation in Cellular Radio Networks

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Virginia Tech

In recent years, game theory has emerged as a promising approach to solving the power control problem in wireless networks. This thesis extends the reach of game-theoretic analysis to embrace link adaptation, thereby constituting a generalization of the power control problem. A realistic and natural problem formulation is attempted, wherein transmitter power and a discrete-valued Adaptable Link Parameter (ALP), e.g. code rate, constitute the action set of a player in this game. The dual goals of maximizing throughput and minimizing power consumption are reflected in the utility function selection, which uses the accurate sigmoid model for approximating throughput. The discrete action space makes it difficult to verify the existence of a Nash Equilibrium (NE) in this game using standard techniques. To circumvent this limitation, a heuristic algorithm is proposed. This algorithm is analytically shown to always converge to a NE. The subsequent results probe its validity and sensitivity. Favorable comparisons are drawn between these game-theoretic results and those arising from parallel systems techniques. A linear programming system optimization that exploits properties of the dominant eigenvalue of the system gain matrix is also presented in a comparative context.

Radio resource management, Nash equilibrium, Link adaptation, Game theory, Power control