Encyclopedia of Wireless Networks

Living Edition
| Editors: Xuemin (Sherman) Shen, Xiaodong Lin, Kuan Zhang

Preferences and Utility Functions

  • Randall A. Berry
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32903-1_21-1



Utility functions are a mathematical representation of an individual’s preferences for different goods and services.


The notion of utility is motivated by a basic problem faced when allocating limited resources (such as bandwidth or power) to users of a wireless network: How should one account for differences in the users’ needs for these resources? These differences can arise due to users running different applications that require different quality of service (QoS) levels or even for the same application due to differences in how users perceive changes in QoS. Moreover, modern wireless networks exist in evolving market structures with multiple competing firms using heterogeneous technologies. Understanding how this competition and the regulation around it impact end users again requires modeling user preferences for different services. The concept of utility is a way of providing a common metric for...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Berry RA, Johari R (2013) Economic modeling in networking: a primer. Found Trends Netw 6(3):165–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Huang J, Gao L (2013) Wireless network pricing. Synth Lect Commun Netw 6(2):1–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kahneman D, Tversky A (1979) Prospect theory: an analysis of decisions under risk. Econometrica, 47(2): 263–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kelly F (1997) Charging and rate control for elastic traffic. Trans Emerg Telecommun Technol 8(1):33–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Maillé P, Tuffin B (2014) Telecommunication network economics: from theory to applications. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Mas-Colell A, Whinston MD, Green JR (1995) Microeconomic theory. Oxford University Press, New YorkzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  7. Rubinstein A (1998) Modeling bounded rationality. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  8. von Neumann J, Morgenstern O (1955) Theory of games and economic behavior. Princeton University Press, PrincetonzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jianwei Huang
    • 1
  • Yuan Luo
  1. 1.Department of Information EngineeringThe Chinese University of Hong Kong, StainHong KongChina