Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical & Computer Engineering

Committee Director

Min Song

Committee Member

Chunsheng Xin

Committee Member

Dimitrie Popescu

Committee Member

Linda L. Vahala


Static spectrum access policy has resulted in spectrum scarcity as well as low spectrum utility in today's wireless communications. To utilize the limited spectrum more efficiently, cognitive radio networks have been considered a promising paradigm for future network. Due to the unique features of cognitive radio technology, cognitive radio networks not only raise new challenges, but also bring several fundamental problems back to the focus of researchers. So far, a number of problems in cognitive radio networks have remained unsolved over the past decade. The work presented in this dissertation attempts to fill some of the gaps in the research area of cognitive radio networks. It focuses primarily on spectrum sensing and performance analysis in two architectures: a single cognitive radio network and multiple co-existing cognitive radio networks. Firstly, a single cognitive radio network with one primary user is considered. A weighted cooperative spectrum sensing framework is designed, to increase the spectrum sensing accuracy. After studying the architecture of a single cognitive radio network, attention is shifted to co-existing multiple cognitive radio networks. The weakness of the conventional two-state sensing model is pointed out in this architecture. To solve the problem, a smart sensing model which consists of three states is designed. Accordingly, a method for a two-stage detection procedure is developed to accurately detect each state of the three. In the first stage, energy detection is employed to identify whether a channel is idle or occupied. If the channel is occupied, received signal is further analyzed at the second stage to determine whether the signal originates from a primary user or an secondary user. For the second stage, a statistical model is developed, which is used for distance estimation. The false alarm and miss detection probabilities for the spectrum sensing technology are theoretically analyzed. Then, how to use smart sensing, coupled with a designed media access control protocol, to achieve fairness among multiple CRNs is thoroughly investigated. The media access control protocol fully takes the PU activity into account. Afterwards, the significant performance metrics including throughput and fairness are carefully studied. In terms of fairness, the fairness dynamics from a micro-level to macro-level is evaluated among secondary users from multiple cognitive radio networks. The fundamental distinctions between the two-state model and the three-state sensing model are also addressed. Lastly, the delay performance of a cognitive radio network supporting heterogeneous traffic is examined. Various delay requirements over the packets from secondary users are fully considered. Specifically, the packets from secondary users are classified into either delay-sensitive packets or delay-insensitive packets. Moreover, a novel relative priority strategy is designed between these two types of traffic by proposing a "transmission window" strategy. The delay performance of both a single-primary user scenario and a multiple-primary user scenario is thoroughly investigated by employing queueing theory.


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