Noncooperative carrier sense game in wireless networks

Kyung Joon Park, Jennifer C. Hou, Tamer Basar, Hwangnam Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The performance of carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) wireless networks heavily depends on the level of spatial reuse, i.e., how many concurrent transmissions are allowed. Spatial reuse is primarily determined by physical carrier sense, and a key parameter for physical carrier sense is the carrier sense threshold. Our focus is on how to control the carrier sense threshold for improving network performance. We present a noncooperative game-theoretic framework, which leads to a fully distributed algorithm for tuning the carrier sense threshold. We introduce a utility function of each node, which is a nondecreasing concave function of the carrier sense threshold. A pricing function is further introduced to mitigate severe interference among nodes. The cost function is defined as the difference between the pricing and the utility functions. We prove that the noncooperative carrier sense game admits a unique Nash equilibrium (NE) under some technical conditions.We derive sufficient conditions that ensure the convergence of the synchronous and asynchronous update algorithms. Based on the analysis, we propose a fully distributed algorithm, entitled noncooperative carrier sense update algorithm (NCUA). Our simulation study indicates that NCUA outperforms standard CSMA with respect to the per-node throughput by 10-50%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5288962
Pages (from-to)5280-5289
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • CSMA wireless network
  • Noncooperative gamel
  • Physica carrier sense
  • Spatial reuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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