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We investigate the capacity of opportunistic communication in the presence of dynamic and distributed spectral activity, i.e., when the time varying spectral holes sensed by the cognitive transmitter are correlated but not identical to those sensed by the cognitive receiver. We develop a two switch model that captures the localized spectral activity estimates at the transmitter and receiver. The information theoretic framework of communication with side information is employed to characterize the capacity of the cognitive link with both causal and non-causal side information at the transmitter and/or the receiver. These capacity results are used to determine the benefits of any feedforward and feedback information. We find that cognitive radio capacity is robust to the uncertainties arising out of distributed and dynamic spectral environments, even when the communication occurs in bursts of only 3-5 symbols. The capacity depends strongly on the correlation of the local spectral environment at the cognitive transmitter and receiver.
Date of Publication: April 2007