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Unlike commercial MANET applications, tactical networks are typically hierarchical and involve heterogeneous types of radio communications. Future tactical networks also require cognitive functions across the protocol stack to exploit scarce spectrum and dynamically adapt functions and configuration settings. In this work we highlight the need for novel design tools for cognitive tactical networks. We define a system design model that will provide the foundation for generic network design problem formulations via the use of cognitive techniques covering both dynamic frequency adaptations and machinelearning- related aspects of cognition. We use the system model to identify several potential cognitive design knobs and describe how the different design knobs can potentially be adjusted at different timescales of operation. These knobs are used in formulating a cognitive network design problem. Finally, we discuss how a network designer can potentially benefit from the proposed model result, a cognitive network design toolset we have recently developed.
Date of Publication: October 2010