Bayesian Game-Theoretic Approach to Mobile Data-offloading

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Mobile data offloading is seen as a promising solution towards meeting the ever-increasing demand for mobile data in the future. Mobile data offloading is a simple proposal whereby the mobile network operators (MNOs) are allowed to offload some of their traffic onto small-cell service-providers (SSPs), e.g., femto-cells, public WiFi networks, etc. Through data offloading MNOs can thus benefit by implicitly serving more traffic (i.e., by providing subscription to more users), while the SSPs can generate additional revenue by charging the MNOs for providing offloading services. However, when multiple SSPs are present in the market the data offloading scenario leads to an interesting pricing problem, whereby the SSPs are expected to set competitive prices in order to accrue profit by serving sufficient offloaded data. In this talk I will discuss the economics of the above pricing problem using the framework of Bayesian game-theory. Specifically, we seek to design SSPs' pricing strategies given limited information about the overall offloading traffic. Characterizing the solution in terms of Bayesian Nash Equilibriums (BNEs), we will first show that there exists no BNEs in pure strategies. In view of this result, we proceed to seek mixed strategy BNEs. In this direction, we will first discuss the process involved in identifying a symmetric mixed strategy BNE, and then present details about its structure. We will finally draw some insights by comparing the proposed pricing strategy with a non-Bayesian scheme where the SSPs are expected to set fixed prices irrespective of the traffic that is offloaded onto them. This is joint work with my Ph.D student M. Sushma.

K P Naveen, IIT Tirupati

K. P. Naveen received the B.E degree from VTU in 2005, and the Ph.D degree from the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering, IISc Bangalore in 2013. His work experience includes Scientist-C at ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore (Jan 2006 - July 2007), postdoctoral fellow at INRIA Saclay, France (Jan 2o14 - Dec. 2015), and INSPIRE Faculty at the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras (Jan 2016 - July 2017). Since July 2017 he is with the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Tirupati. His research interests include performance analysis of wireless networks, network economics, game theory, and optimal control.