HetNets Selection by Clients: Convergence, Efficiency, and Practicality

Alireza Keshavarz-Haddad, Ehsan Aryafar, Michael Wang, Mung Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


We study the dynamics of network selection in heterogeneous wireless networks based on client-side control. Clients in such networks selfishly select the best radio access technology (RAT) that maximizes their own throughputs. We study two general classes of throughput models that capture the basic properties of random access (e.g., Wi-Fi) and scheduled access (e.g., WiMAX, LTE, and 3G) networks. Formulating the problem as a non-cooperative game, we study its existence of equilibria, convergence time, efficiency, and practicality. Our results reveal that: 1) single-class RAT selection games converge to Nash equilibria, while an improvement path can be repeated infinitely with a mixture of classes; 2) we provide tight bounds on the convergence time of these games; 3) we analyze the Pareto-efficiency of the Nash equilibria of these games, deriving the conditions under which Nash equilibria are Pareto-optimal, and quantifying the distance of equilibria with respect to the set of Pareto-dominant points when the conditions are not satisfied; and 4) with extensive measurement-driven simulations, we show that RAT selection games converge to Nash equilibria in a small number of steps, and are amenable to practical implementation. We also investigate the impact of noisy throughput estimates, and propose solutions to handle them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7523446
Pages (from-to)406-419
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Heterogeneous wireless networks
  • Nash equilibrium
  • Pareto optimality
  • convergence time
  • game theory
  • radio access technology


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