Skip to Main Content
The cognitive radio (CR) paradigm calls for open spectrum access according to a predetermined etiquette. Under this paradigm, CR nodes access the spectrum opportunistically by continuously monitoring the operating channels. A key challenge in this domain is how the nodes in a CR network (CRN) cooperate to access the medium in order to maximize the CRN throughput. Typical multichannel MAC protocols assume that frequency channels are adjacent and that there are no constraints on the transmission power. However, a CRN may operate over a wide range of frequencies, and a power mask is often enforced on the transmission of a CR user to avoid corrupting the transmissions of spectrum-licensed primary-radio (PR) users. To avoid unnecessary blocking of CR transmissions, we propose a novel distance-dependent MAC protocol for CRNs. Our protocol, called DDMAC, attempts to maximize the CRN throughput. It uses a novel probabilistic channel assignment mechanism that exploits the dependence between the signal's attenuation model and the transmission distance while considering the traffic profile. DDMAC allows a pair of CR users to communicate on a channel that may not be optimal from one user's perspective, but that allows more concurrent transmissions to take place, especially under moderate and high traffic loads. Simulation results indicate that, compared to typical multichannel CSMA-based protocols, DDMAC reduces the blocking rate of CR requests by up to 30%, which consequently improves the network throughput.