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Spectrum sharing for unlicensed bands

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3 Author(s)
Etkin, R. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., California Univ., Berkeley, CA ; Parekh, A. ; Tse, D.

We study a spectrum sharing problem in an unlicensed band where multiple systems coexist and interfere with each other. Due to asymmetries and selfish system behavior, unfair and inefficient situations may arise. We investigate whether efficiency and fairness can be obtained with self-enforcing spectrum sharing rules. These rules have the advantage of not requiring a central authority that verifies compliance to the protocol. Any self-enforcing protocol must correspond to an equilibrium of a game. We first analyze the possible outcomes of a one shot game, and observe that in many cases an inefficient solution results. However, systems often coexist for long periods and a repeated game is more appropriate to model their interaction. In this repeated game the possibility of building reputations and applying punishments allows for a larger set of self-enforcing outcomes. When this set includes the optimal operating point, efficient, fair, and incentive compatible spectrum sharing becomes possible. We present examples that illustrate that in many cases the performance loss due to selfish behavior is small. We also prove that our results are tight and quantify the best achievable performance in a non-cooperative scenario

Published in:

Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Journal on  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 3 )