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We propose the cognitive-radio-based multi-channel medium access control (MAC) protocols, which integrate the spectrum sensing and packet scheduling, for the wireless ad hoc networks. Specifically, the cognitive MAC protocols allow secondary users to identify and use the unused frequency spectrum in a way that constrains the level of interference to the primary users. Under our proposed protocols, each secondary user is equipped with two transceivers. One of the transceivers operates on a dedicated control channel, while the other is used as a cognitive radio that can periodically sense and dynamically utilize the identified unused channels. To obtain the channel status accurately, we propose two types of collaboratively channel- sensing policies, namely random sensing policy and negotiation- based sensing policy, to help the MAC protocols detect the unused channels. We also develop the analytical models to study the proposed MAC protocols with the two types of channel-sensing policies.