Coalitions in cooperative wireless networks

Suhas Mathur, Lalitha Sankar, Narayan B. Mandayam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Cooperation between rational users in wireless networks is studied using coalitional game theory. Using the rate achieved by a user as its utility, it is shown that the stable coalition structure, i.e., set of coalitions from which users have no incentives to defect, depends on the manner in which the rate gains are apportioned among the cooperating users. Specifically, the stability of the grand coalition (GC), i.e., the coalition of all users, is studied. Transmitter and receiver cooperation in an interference channel (IC) are studied as illustrative cooperative models to determine the stable coalitions for both flexible (transferable) and fixed (non-transferable) apportioning schemes. It is shown that the stable sum-rate optimal coalition when only receivers cooperate by jointly decoding (transferable) is the GC. The stability of the GC depends on the detector when receivers cooperate using linear multiuser detectors (non-transferable). Transmitter cooperation is studied assuming that all receivers cooperate perfectly and that users outside a coalition act as jammers. The stability of the GC is studied for both the case of perfectly cooperating transmitters (transferable) and under a partial decode-and-forward strategy (non-transferable). In both cases, the stability is shown to depend on the channel gains and the transmitter jamming strengths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4604736
Pages (from-to)1104-1115
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Coalitional games
  • Cooperative communications
  • Interference channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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