Network economics in cognitive networks

Cellular networks are confronted with unprecedented pressure to accommodate the dramatically increasing demands of mobile Internet. This phenomenon is principally due to the restricted spectrum resource and low-efficiency spectrum management. Recently, cognitive radio technology has been corroborated to significantly improve spectrum utilization efficiency. In order to enhance the spectrum management efficiency in cellular networks, the concept of “cognitive cellular networks” was introduced. It has been realized that the network architecture, algorithms, and protocols cannot be simply designed without considering the socio-economic aspects involved.

In this article, we consider the economic issues in cognitive cellular networks from the perspectives of game theoretic modeling and mechanism design.Specifically, both the simultaneous and sequential dynamic spectrum access games are investigated, respectively. The mechanism design related issues (i.e., spectrum auction, pricing, and contract) to ensure desired outcomes are introduced with detailed applications in cognitive cellular networks. The goal of this article is to provide an overview to understand the motivation, problem formulation, methodology, and solutions of the economic issues in cognitive cellular networks.