Enhancing Sensing and Channel Access in Cognitive Radio Networks

  • Doha R. Hamza

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Cognitive radio technology is a promising technology to solve the wireless spectrum scarcity problem by intelligently allowing secondary, or unlicensed, users access to the primary, licensed, users' frequency bands. Cognitive technology involves two main tasks: 1) sensing the wireless medium to assess the presence of the primary users and 2) designing secondary spectrum access techniques that maximize the secondary users' benefits while maintaining the primary users' privileged status. On the spectrum sensing side, we make two contributions. First, we maximize a utility function representing the secondary throughput while constraining the collision probability with the primary below a certain value. We optimize therein the channel sensing time, the sensing decision threshold, the channel probing time, together with the channel sensing order for wideband primary channels. Second, we design a cooperative spectrum sensing technique termed sensing with equal gain combining whereby cognitive radios simultaneously transmit their sensing results to the fusion center over multipath fading reporting channels. The proposed scheme is shown to outperform orthogonal reporting systems in terms of achievable secondary throughput and to be robust against phase and synchronization errors. On the spectrum access side, we make four contributions. First, we design a secondary scheduling scheme with the goal of minimizing the secondary queueing delay under constraints on the average secondary transmit power and the maximum tolerable primary outage probability. Second, we design another secondary scheduling scheme based on the spectrum sensing results and the primary automatic repeat request feedback. The optimal medium access probabilities are obtained via maximizing the secondary throughput subject to constraints that guarantee quality of service parameters for the primary. Third, we propose a three-message superposition coding scheme to maximize the secondary throughput without degrading the primary rate. Cognitive relaying is employed as an incentive for the primary network. The scheme is shown to outperform a number of reference schemes such as best relay selection. Finally, we consider a network of multiple primary and secondary users. We propose a three-stage distributed matching algorithm to pair the network users. The algorithm is shown to perform close to an optimal central controller, albeit at a reduced computational complexity.
Date of AwardJun 18 2014
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorMohamed-Slim Alouini (Supervisor)


  • Cognitive Radios
  • spectrum sensing
  • Spectrum Access
  • Wireless Scheduling
  • Cognitive Relaying
  • Matching Theory

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