Toward cooperation by carrier aggregation in heterogeneous networks: A hierarchical game approach

Pu Yuan, Yong Xiao, Guoan Bi, Liren Zhang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper studies the resource-Allocation problem for a heterogeneous network (HetNet) in which the spectrum owned by a macrocell operator (MCO) can be shared by both unlicensed users (UUs) and licensed users (LUs). We formulate a novel hierarchical game theoretic framework to jointly optimize the transmit powers and subband allocations of the UUs and the pricing strategies of the MCO. In our framework, an overlapping coalition formation (OCF) game has been introduced to model the cooperative behaviors of the UUs. We then integrate this OCF game into a Stackelberg game-based hierarchical framework. We prove that the core of our proposed OCF game is nonempty and introduce an optimal subband-Allocation scheme for UUs. A simple distributed algorithm is proposed for UUs to autonomously form an optimal coalition formation (CF) structure. The Stackelberg equilibrium (SE) of the proposed hierarchical game is derived, and its uniqueness and optimality are proved. A distributed joint optimization algorithm is also proposed to approach the SE of the game with limited information exchanges between the MCO and the UUs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2558318
    Pages (from-to)1670-1683
    Number of pages14
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


    • Carrier aggregation
    • Coalitional game
    • Game theory
    • Heterogeneous networks (hetnets)
    • Overlapping
    • Power control
    • Price adjustment
    • Spatial spectrum sharing
    • Subband allocation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Automotive Engineering
    • Aerospace Engineering
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
    • Applied Mathematics


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