Utility-optimal random-access control

Jang Won Lee, Mung Chiang, A. Robert Calderbank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


This paper designs medium access control (MAC) protocols for wireless networks through the network utility maximization (NUM) framework. A network-wide utility maximization problem is formulated, using a collision/persistenceprobabilistic model and aligning selfish utility with total social welfare. By adjusting the parameters in the utility objective functions of the NUM problem, we can also control the tradeoff between efficiency and fairness of radio resource allocation. We develop two distributed algorithms to solve the utility-optimal random-access control problem, which lead to random access protocols that have slightly more message passing overhead than the current exponential-backoff protocols, but significant potential for efficiency and fairness improvement. We provide readily-verifiable sufficient conditions under which convergence of the proposed algorithms to a global optimality of network utility can be guaranteed, and numerical experiments that illustrate the value of the NUM approach to the complexity-performance tradeoff in MAC design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2741-2750
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received December 6, 2005; revised April 4, 2006 and June 23, 2006; accepted July 3, 2006. The associate editor coordinating the review of this paper and approving it for publication was M. Zorzi. This work was supported by Yonsei University research fund of 2005 and NSF Grants CCF-0430487, CCF-0440443, CNS-0417607, CNS-0427677, and CCF-0448012. The earlier version of this paper was presented at IEEE Infocom 2006 [1].

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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