Spectrum leasing as an incentive towards uplink macrocell and femtocell cooperation

Francesco Pantisano, Mehdi Bennis, Walid Saad, Mérouane Debbah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


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. Simulation 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6172002
Pages (from-to)617-630
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • coalitional game theory
  • cooperation
  • Device-to-Device (D2D)
  • femtocell networks
  • recursive core
  • Spectrum leasing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'Spectrum leasing as an incentive towards uplink macrocell and femtocell cooperation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this