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As the novel and effective approach to improving the utilization of the precious radio spectrum, cognitive radio technology is the key to realize the dynamic spectrum access (DSA) networks, where the secondary (unlicensed) users can opportunistically utilize the unused licensed spectrum in a way that confines the level of interference to the range the primary (licensed) users can tolerate. However, there are many new challenges associated with cognitive-radio-based DSA networks, such as the multi-channel hidden terminal problem and the fact that the time-varying channel availability differs for different secondary users, in the medium access control (MAC) layer. To overcome these challenges, we propose an efficient Cognitive Radio-EnAbled Multi-channel MAC (CREAM-MAC) protocol, which integrates the cooperative sequential spectrum sensing at physical layer and the packet scheduling at MAC layer, over the wireless DSA networks. Under the proposed CREAM-MAC protocol, each secondary user is equipped with a cognitive radio-enabled transceiver and multiple channel sensors. Our cooperative sequential spectrum sensing scheme improves the accuracy of spectrum sensing and further protects the primary users. The proposed CREAM-MAC enables the secondary users to best utilize the unused frequency spectrum while avoiding the collisions among secondary users and between secondary users and primary users. We develop the Markov chain model and M/GY/1 queueing model to rigorously study our proposed CREAM-MAC protocol for both the saturation networks and the non-saturation networks. We also conduct extensive simulations to validate our developed protocol and analytical models.
Selected Topics in Signal Processing, IEEE Journal of (Volume:5 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2011