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In this paper, we propose a novel framework of cognitive radio assisted cooperation (CRAC) for downlink transmissions in orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) - based cellular networks. In the proposed CRAC framework, relay stations are deployed in each cell and have spectrum sensing capability. In turn, they can access unoccupied white space to opportunistically obtain additional sub-channels to assist relaying information for cellular users. One of promising novelties is that the proposed CRAC considers joint resource allocation which includes transmission mode selection, relay station allocation, and transmit power/sub-channel allocation, to cost-effectively provide services and applications. Specifically, we first formulate the joint resource allocation as a sum utility maximization problem with power constraints on the base station and relay stations, which is a mixed integer programming problem. Then, we leverage dual decomposition method and derive a centralized optimal solution. Extensive simulation results are presented and demonstrate that the proposed CRAC can achieve a significant performance improvement in terms of the downlink network throughput while maintaining comparable fairness among cellular users in contrast to the traditional relay-based cooperation approach.
Date of Publication: October 2012