Efficient power control via pricing in wireless data networks

  • Goodman D.
  • Mandayam N.
  • Sarydar C.

A major challenge in the operation of wireless communications systems is the efficient use of radio resources. One important component of radio resource management is power control, which has been studied extensively in the context of voice communications. With the increasing demand for wireless data services, it is necessary to establish power control algorithms for information sources other than voice. We present a power control solution for wireless data in the analytical setting of a game theoretic framework. In this context, the quality of service (QoS) a wireless terminal receives is referred to as the utility and distributed power control is a noncooperative power control game where users maximize their utility. The outcome of the game results in a Nash equilibrium that is inefficient. We introduce pricing of transmit powers in order to obtain Pareto improvement of the noncooperative power control game, i.e., to obtain improvements in user utilities relative to the case with no pricing. Specifically, we consider a pricing function that is a linear function of the transmit power. The simplicity of the pricing function allows a distributed implementation where the price can be broadcast by the base station to all the terminals. We see that pricing is especially helpful in a heavily loaded system.

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