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Journal Articles IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management Year : 2023

Strategic Resource Pricing and Allocation in a 5G Network Slicing Stackelberg Game

Abstract

We consider a marketplace in the context of 5G network slicing, where Application Service Providers (ASP), i.e., slice tenants, providing heterogeneous services, are in competition for the access to the virtualized network resource owned by a Network Slice Provider (NSP), who relies on network slicing. We model the interactions between the end users (followers) and the ASPs (leaders) as a Stackelberg game. We prove that the competition between the ASPs results in a multi-resource Tullock rent-seeking game. To determine resource pricing and allocation, we devise two innovative market mechanisms. First, we assume that the ASPs are pre-assigned with fixed shares (budgets) of infrastructure, and rely on a trading post mechanism to allocate the resource. Under this mechanism, the ASPs can redistribute their budgets in bids and customise their allocations to maximize their profits. In case a single resource is considered, we prove that the ASPs' coupled decision problems give rise to a unique Nash equilibrium. Second, when ASPs have no bound on their budget, we formulate the problem as a pricing game with coupling constraints capturing the shared resource finite capacities, and derive the market prices as the duals of the coupling constraints. In addition, we prove that the pricing game admits a unique variational equilibrium. We implement two online learning algorithms to compute solutions of the market mechanisms. A third fully distributed algorithm based on a proximal method is proposed to compute the Variational equilibrium solution of the pricing game. Finally, we run numerical simulations to analyse the market mechanism's economic properties and the convergence rates of the algorithms.
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Dates and versions

hal-03824540 , version 1 (10-01-2022)
hal-03824540 , version 3 (21-10-2022)
hal-03824540 , version 2 (15-11-2022)

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Mandar Datar, Eitan Altman, Hélène Le Cadre. Strategic Resource Pricing and Allocation in a 5G Network Slicing Stackelberg Game. IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management, 2023, 20 (1), pp.1932--4537. ⟨10.1109/TNSM.2022.3216588⟩. ⟨hal-03824540v3⟩
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