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Cognitive radio networks will provide high bandwidth to mobile users via heterogeneous wireless architectures and dynamic spectrum access techniques. However, CR networks impose challenges due to the fluctuating nature of the available spectrum, as well as the diverse QoS requirements of various applications. Spectrum management functions can address these challenges for the realization of this new network paradigm. To provide a better understanding of CR networks, this article presents recent developments and open research issues in spectrum management in CR networks. More specifically, the discussion is focused on the development of CR networks that require no modification of existing networks. First, a brief overview of cognitive radio and the CR network architecture is provided. Then four main challenges of spectrum management are discussed: spectrum sensing, spectrum decision, spectrum sharing, and spectrum mobility.
Date of Publication: April 2008