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Open Access

Stackelberg Contention Games in Multiuser Networks

EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20092009:305978

Received: 2 October 2008

Accepted: 10 February 2009

Published: 24 March 2009


Interactions among selfish users sharing a common transmission channel can be modeled as a noncooperative game using the game theory framework. When selfish users choose their transmission probabilities independently without any coordination mechanism, Nash equilibria usually result in a network collapse. We propose a methodology that transforms the noncooperative game into a Stackelberg game. Stackelberg equilibria of the Stackelberg game can overcome the deficiency of the Nash equilibria of the original game. A particular type of Stackelberg intervention is constructed to show that any positive payoff profile feasible with independent transmission probabilities can be achieved as a Stackelberg equilibrium payoff profile. We discuss criteria to select an operating point of the network and informational requirements for the Stackelberg game. We relax the requirements and examine the effects of relaxation on performance.


Nash EquilibriumTransmission ProbabilityCoordination MechanismTransmission ChannelPositive Payoff

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Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, USA
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, USA


© J. Park and M. van der Schaar. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.