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Competitive Pricing for Spectrum Sharing in Cognitive Radio Networks: Dynamic Game, Inefficiency of Nash Equilibrium, and Collusion

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2 Author(s)
Dusit Niyato ; Univ. of Manitoba, Winnipeg ; Ekram Hossain

We address the problem of spectrum pricing in a cognitive radio network where multiple primary service providers compete with each other to offer spectrum access opportunities to the secondary users. By using an equilibrium pricing scheme, each of the primary service providers aims to maximize its profit under quality of service (QoS) constraint for primary users. We formulate this situation as an oligopoly market consisting of a few firms and a consumer. The QoS degradation of the primary services is considered as the cost in offering spectrum access to the secondary users. For the secondary users, we adopt a utility function to obtain the demand function. With a Bertrand game model, we analyze the impacts of several system parameters such as spectrum substitutability and channel quality on the Nash equilibrium (i.e., equilibrium pricing adopted by the primary services). We present distributed algorithms to obtain the solution for this dynamic game. The stability of the proposed dynamic game algorithms in terms of convergence to the Nash equilibrium is studied. However, the Nash equilibrium is not efficient in the sense that the total profit of the primary service providers is not maximized. An optimal solution to gain the highest total profit can be obtained. A collusion can be established among the primary services so that they gain higher profit than that for the Nash equilibrium. However, since one or more of the primary service providers may deviate from the optimal solution, a punishment mechanism may be applied to the deviating primary service provider. A repeated game among primary service providers is formulated to show that the collusion can be maintained if all of the primary service providers are aware of this punishment mechanism, and therefore, properly weight their profits to be obtained in the future.

Published in:

IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 1 )