Coalition formation games for distributed cooperation among roadside units in vehicular networks

Walid Saad, Zhu Han, Are Hjørungnes, Dusit Niyato, Ekram Hossain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Vehicle-to-roadside (V2R) communications enable vehicular networks to support a wide range of applications for enhancing the efficiency of road transportation. While existing work focused on non-cooperative techniques for V2R communications between vehicles and roadside units (RSUs), this paper investigates novel cooperative strategies among the RSUs in a vehicular network. We propose a scheme whereby, through cooperation, the RSUs in a vehicular network can coordinate the classes of data being transmitted through V2R communication links to the vehicles. This scheme improves the diversity of the information circulating in the network while exploiting the underlying content-sharing vehicle-to-vehicle communication network. We model the problem as a coalition formation game with transferable utility and we propose an algorithm for forming coalitions among the RSUs. For coalition formation, each RSU can take an individual decision to join or leave a coalition, depending on its utility which accounts for the generated revenues and the costs for coalition coordination. We show that the RSUs can self-organize into a Nash-stable partition and adapt this partition to environmental changes. Simulation results show that, depending on different scenarios, coalition formation presents a performance improvement, in terms of the average payoff per RSU, ranging between 20.5% and 33.2%, relative to the non-cooperative case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5678781
Pages (from-to)48-60
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • coalition formation game
  • coalitional game theory
  • Vehicle-to-roadside communications
  • vehicular networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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