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Rate Adaptation Games in Wireless LANs: Nash Equilibrium and Price of Anarchy

Prasanna Chaporkar, Alexandre Proutiere, and Bozidar Radunovic

Abstract

In Wireless LANs, users may adapt their transmission rates depending on the radio conditions of their links so as to maximize their throughput. Recently, there has been a significant research effort in developing distributed rate adaptation schemes. Unlike previous works that mainly focus on channel tracking, this paper characterizes the optimal reaction of a rate adaptation protocol to the contention information received from the MAC. We formulate this problem analytically. We study both competitive and cooperative user behaviors. In the case of competition, users selfishly adapt their rates so as to maximize their own throughput, whereas in the case of cooperation they adapt their rates so as to maximize the overall system throughput. We show that the Nash Equilibrium reached in the case of competition is inefficient (i.e. the price of anarchy goes to infinity as the number of users increases), and provide insightful properties of the socially optimal rate adaptation schemes. We find that recently proposed collision-aware rate adaptation algorithms decrease the price of anarchy. We also propose a novel collision-aware

rate adaptation algorithm that further reduces the price of anarchy.

Details

Publication typeInproceedings
Published inINFOCOM 2010
PublisherIEEE Communications Society
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