• On-Site Registration Opens:
    30 November 2008

  • Awards Luncheon:
    1 December 2008

  • Exhibit Opening & 
    Welcome Reception:
    1 December 2008





Win Prizes
T15: Games, Distributed Decision Making and Learning in Wireless Multimedia Networks

Presenter: Mihaela van der Schaar, University of California at Los Angeles


Future mobile wireless networks and distributed systems will support a wide variety of heterogeneous multimedia applications and services, with different traffic characteristics, utilities and quality of service requirements. Efficient allocation of network (spectrum) and system (power) resources will be one of the most crucial factors in such dynamic and heterogeneous environments. The interaction among the various multimedia applications/users can be modeled as a general stochastic game, in which selfish, autonomous applications/users can strategically interact in order to acquire the dynamically available spectrum or power resources.

In this course, we will show how different cooperative and non-cooperative games can be constructed to model the interactions emerging among multimedia users in different wireless networks and application scenarios. We also show how wireless multimedia users can successfully compete with each other for the limited and time-varying resources, by optimizing their decision process. To determine their optimal actions in this informationally-decentralized setting, users will need to learn and model directly or indirectly the other multimedia users‚ responses to their actions. The tutorial will discuss in detail several existing multi-agent learning techniques that can be successfully deployed in multi-user wireless communication. Finally, the outcome of various interactions among self-interested users with various amounts of knowledge will be analyzed both in terms of dynamics and steady state equilibrium(s), and we will show how new multi-user communication mechanisms can be synthesized that achieve new measures of optimality, rationality and fairness for wireless networks and applications (e.g. multimedia
wireless networks, mobile multimedia applications, peer-to-peer wireless networks etc.).

This tutorial will draw from the fields of multi-user wireless networking, multimedia communication, game-theory and multi-agent learning. A unique and distinguishing feature of this course as compared to game-theory or multi-agent learning courses is the extent of multimedia networking and system specific modeling in developing the game theoretic framework driving the learning and selection of strategies and actions available to the interacting users in the studied networks and systems (e.g. wireless networks, cognitive radio networks, peer-to-peer networks). This is in contrast to much of the courses existing on game theoretic, methods in economics, which use simplistic utility functions and system settings.

Topics to be covered:
1. Games in communications, networks and computing - examples ? Wireless multimedia communications (interference games, scheduling strategies etc.)
• Multimedia tasks competition for power resources
• Defining realistic utility-resource functions
• Discussion of existing fairness solutions and limitations for dynamic multimedia applications
2. Equilibrium Concepts ˆ Nash and beyond, and their Importance in different networks, communication and computing systems
• Illustrative example ˆ Multi-user Wireless Multimedia Communications over Cellular Networks and Wireless LANs
3. Cooperative Game Theory Methods - Bargaining Games and Coalitional Games
• Illustrative example ˆ Multimedia peer to peer networks (wired and wireless)
4. Non-cooperative Game Theory Methods - Mechanism Design, Auctions etc.
• VCG mechanism, pricing mechanism etc. and their applications to resource allocations in networks and systems
• Comparisons of different solutions in terms of complexity, performance and informational requirements for dynamic multimedia networks and systems
a. Illustrative example ˆ Multi-user multimedia resource allocations in wirelesscellular networks and Wireless LANs
5. Repeated Games and Stochastic Games
• Illustrative example ˆ Dynamic resource management for wireless multimedia users
6. Knowledge function, value of learning and value of information
7. Multi-agent learning
• Fictitious play
• Regret matching
• Reinforcement learning
• Information-theoretic learning
• Illustrative examples in wireless multimedia systems and resulting services
8. Using Markov Decision Processes for Decision Making in Networks and System
• Illustrative example 1 ˆ applications to networks - cross-layer design framework for multimedia users
• Illustrative example 2 ˆ applications to multimedia systems
• Test-cases: wireless multimedia services, wireless multimedia P2P systems, power optimization for wireless multimedia systems


Mihaela van der Schaar is an Associate professor at UCLA, in the Electrical Engineering Department. She received the Ph.D. degree from Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, in 2001. Prior to joining the UCLA Electrical Engineering Department faculty on July 1st, 2005, she was between 1996 and June 2003 a senior researcher at Philips Research in the Netherlands and USA, where she led a team of researchers working on multimedia coding, processing, networking, and streaming algorithms and architectures. From January to September 2003, she was also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University.

Mihaela has published more than 200 journal and conference papers on multimedia communications, networking, architectures, systems, compression and processing, and holds 30 granted US patents. Since 1999, she has been an active participant in the ISO Motion Picture Expert Group (MPEG) standard, to which she has made more than 50 contributions and for which she has received three ISO recognition awards. She also chaired the ad-hoc group on MPEG Scalable Video Coding for three years, and co-chaired the MPEG ad-hoc group on Multimedia Test-beds. She was a guest editor of the EURASIP Special Issue on Multimedia over IP and Wireless Networks, and was the general chair of Picture Coding Symposium 2004, the oldest conference on image/video coding. She is a senior member of IEEE, and was also elected as a Member of the Technical Committee on Multimedia Signal Processing, as well as the Technical Committee on Image and Multiple Dimensional Signal Processing of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. She was an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Multimedia and the SPIE Electronic Imaging Journal from 2002-2005. Currently, she is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Circuits and System for Video Technology, of the IEEE Signal Processing Letters, and of the newly founded IEEE Signal Processing Society e- Newsletter. She is the editor (with Dr. Phil Chou) of the book „Multimedia over IP and Wireless Networks‰, Elsevier, 2007.

She received an NSF Career Award in 2004, an Okawa Award in 2006, two IBM Faculty Awards in 2005 and 2007, a best paper award from IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems in Video technology in 2005 and a most cited paper award from EURASIP: Image communications in 2006.