Spectrum Leasing as an Incentive Towards Uplink Macrocell and Femtocell Cooperation

Publication Type:

Journal Article


IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, Volume 30, Number 3, p.617-630 (2012)


The concept of femtocell access points underlaying existing communication infrastructure has recently emerged as a key technology that can significantly improve the coverage and performance of next-generation wireless networks. In this paper, we propose a framework for macrocell-femtocell cooperation under a closed access policy, in which a femtocell user may act as a relay for macrocell users. In return, each cooperative macrocell user grants the femtocell user a fraction of its superframe. We formulate a coalitional game with macrocell and femtocell users being the players, which can take individual and distributed decisions on whether to cooperate or not, while maximizing a utility function that captures the cooperative gains, in terms of throughput and delay. We show that the network can self- organize into a partition composed of disjoint coalitions which constitutes the recursive core of the game which is a key solution concept for coalition formation games in partition form. Simula- tion results show that the proposed coalition formation algorithm yields significant gains in terms of average rate per macrocell user, reaching up to 239%, relative to the non-cooperative case. Moreover, the proposed approach shows an improvement in terms of femtocell users’ rate of up to 21% when compared to the traditional closed access policy.