A Stackelberg Game Based Pricing and User Association for Spectrum Splitting Macro-Femto HetNets

Bo GU  Zhi LIU  Cheng ZHANG  Kyoko YAMORI  Osamu MIZUNO  Yoshiaki TANAKA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E101-B   No.1   pp.154-162
Publication Date: 2018/01/01
Publicized: 2017/07/10
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.2017EBP3097
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Network
HetNet,  macrocell,  femtocell,  user association,  utility,  pricing,  revenue optimization,  game,  

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The demand for wireless traffic is increasing rapidly, which has posed huge challenges to mobile network operators (MNOs). A heterogeneous network (HetNet) framework, composed of a marcocell and femtocells, has been proved to be an effective way to cope with the fast-growing traffic demand. In this paper, we assume that both the macrocell and femtocells are owned by the same MNO, with revenue optimization as its ultimate goal. We aim to propose a pricing strategy for macro-femto HetNets with a user centric vision, namely, mobile users would have their own interest to make rational decisions on selecting between the macrocell and femtocells to maximize their individual benefit. We formulate a Stackelberg game to analyze the interactions between the MNO and users, and obtain the equilibrium solution for the Stackelberg game. Via extensive simulations, we evaluate the proposed pricing strategy in terms of its efficiency with respect to the revenue optimization.