Skip to Main Content
This paper analyzes the error exponents in Bayesian decentralized spectrum sensing, i.e., the detection of occupancy of the primary spectrum by a cognitive radio, with probability of error as the performance metric. At the individual sensors, the error exponents of a Central Limit Theorem (CLT) based detection scheme are analyzed. At the fusion center, a K-out-of-N rule is employed to arrive at the overall decision. It is shown that, in the presence of fading, for a fixed number of sensors, the error exponents with respect to the number of observations at both the individual sensors as well as at the fusion center are zero. This motivates the development of the error exponent with a certain probability as a novel metric that can be used to compare different detection schemes in the presence of fading. The metric is useful, for example, in answering the question of whether to sense for a pilot tone in a narrow band (and suffer Rayleigh fading) or to sense the entire wide-band signal (and suffer log-normal shadowing), in terms of the error exponent performance. The error exponents with a certain probability at both the individual sensors and at the fusion center are derived, with both Rayleigh as well as log-normal shadow fading. Numerical results are used to illustrate and provide a visual feel for the theoretical expressions obtained.