iDEAL: Incentivized Dynamic Cellular Offloading via Auctions

Wei Dong, Swati Rallapalli, Rittwik Jana, Lili Qiu, K.K. Ramakrishnan, Leo Razoumov, Yin Zhang, and Tae Won Cho

Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM) 2013.

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Wireless networking

The explosive growth of cellular traffic and its highly dynamic nature often make it increasingly expensive for a cellular service provider to provision enough cellular resources to support the peak traffic demands. In this paper, we propose iDEAL, a novel auction-based incentive framework that allows a cellular service provider to leverage resources from third-party resource owners on demand by buying capacity whenever needed through reverse auctions. iDEAL has several distinctive features: (i) iDEAL explicitly accounts for the diverse spatial coverage of different resources and can effectively foster competition among third-party resource owners in different regions, resulting in significant savings to the cellular service provider. (ii) iDEAL provides revenue incentives for third-party resource owners to participate in the reverse auction and be truthful in the bidding process. (iii) iDEAL is provably efficient. (iv) iDEAL effectively guards against collusion. (v) iDEAL effectively copes with the dynamic nature of traffic demands. In addition, iDEAL has useful extensions that address important practical issues. Extensive evaluation based on real traces from a large US cellular service provider clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of our approach. We further demonstrate the feasibility of iDEAL using a prototype implementation.