The focus of this paper is on studying the tradeoff between the sum efficiency and Jain's fairness index in general resource allocation problems. Such problems are frequently encountered in wireless communication systems with M users. Among the commonly-used methods to approach these problems is the one based on the α-fair policy. Analyzing this policy, it is shown that \revR{it does not necessarily achieve the optimal Efficiency-Jain tradeoff (EJT) except for the case of M=2 users. When the number of users M>2, it is shown that the gap between the efficiency achieved by the α-fair policy and that achieved by the optimal EJT policy for the same Jain's index can be unbounded. Finding the optimal EJT corresponds to solving a family of potentially difficult non-convex optimization problems. To alleviate this difficulty, we derive sufficient conditions which are shown to be sharp and naturally satisfied in various radio resource allocation problems. These conditions provide us with a means for identifying cases in which finding the optimal EJT and the rate vectors that achieve it can be reformulated as convex optimization problems. The new formulations are used to devise computationally-efficient resource schedulers that enable the optimal EJT to be achieved for both quasi-static and ergodic time-varying communication scenarios. Analytical findings are confirmed by numerical examples.

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Keywords α-fairness, convex optimization, efficiency-fairness tradeoff, fairness metrics, Scheduling
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Journal IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Sediq, A.B. (Akram Bin), Gohary, R, Schoenen, R. (Rainer), & Yanikomeroglu, H. (2013). Optimal tradeoff between sum-rate efficiency and jain's fairness index in resource allocation. IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, 12(7), 3496–3509. doi:10.1109/TWC.2013.061413.121703