Stochastic Coalitional Games for Cooperative Random Access in M2M Communications

Mehdi Naderi Soorki, Walid Saad, Mohammad Hossein Manshaei, Hossein Saidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


In this paper, the problem of random access contention between machine type devices (MTDs) in the uplink of a wireless cellular network is studied. In particular, the possibility of forming cooperative groups to coordinate the MTDs' requests for the random access channel (RACH) is analyzed. The problem is formulated as a stochastic coalition formation game in which the MTDs are the players that seek to form cooperative coalitions to optimize a utility function that captures each MTD's energy consumption and time-varying queue length. Within each coalition, an MTD acts as a coalition head that sends the access requests of the coalition members over the RACH. One key feature of this game is its ability to cope with stochastic environments in which the arrival requests of MTDs and the packet success rate over RACH are dynamically time-varying. The proposed stochastic coalitional game is composed of multiple stages, each of which corresponds to a coalitional game in stochastic characteristic form that is played by the MTDs at each time step. To solve this game, a novel distributed coalition formation algorithm is proposed and shown to converge to a stable MTD partition. Simulation results show that, on the average, the proposed stochastic coalition formation algorithm can reduce the average fail ratio and energy consumption of up to 36% and 31% for a cluster-based distribution of MTDs, respectively, compared with a noncooperative case. Moreover, when the MTDs are more sensitive to the energy consumption (queue length), the coalitions' size will increase (decrease).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7964715
Pages (from-to)6179-6192
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Game theory
  • Internet of Things
  • coalitional games
  • machine-to-machine communications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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