Spectrum-efficient Cooperation and Bargaining-based Resource Allocation for Secondary Users in Cognitive Radio Networks

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Virginia Tech

Dynamic spectrum access (DSA) is a promising approach to alleviate spectrum scarcity and improve spectrum utilization. Our work aims to enhance the utilization of the available white spaces in the licensed spectrum by enabling cooperative communication in the secondary networks. We investigate the ability of a two-hop cooperative transmission to reduce the effect of primary user interruption on secondary transmissions. We analyze the performance of a cooperative secondary transmission by modeling the interaction between primary user and secondary user transmissions using a discrete time Markov chain (DTMC). The analysis shows a significant enhancement in the secondary transmission efficiency and throughput when cooperative transmission is utilized compared to that of direct transmission, especially at high levels of primary user activity. We extend our study to model secondary cooperative transmission in realistic scenarios. We evaluate the throughput performance enhancement in the secondary infrastructure network analytical and by simulation. A simple scenario is modeled analytically by a DTMC that captures the probability of finding intermediate relays according to nodes' density and by discrete event simulation where both results confined each other. We introduce a dedicated cooperative and cognitive Media Access Control (MAC) protocol named CO2MAC to facilitate secondary users transmissions in infrastructure-based secondary networks. The proposed MAC enables utilizing cooperative Multi-Input-Multi-Output (MIMO) transmission techniques to further enhance the throughput performance. By using the proposed MAC, we quantify the enhancement in the throughput of secondary infrastructure networks via simulation for complex scenarios. The results show an enhancement in cooperative transmission throughput compared to that of direct transmission, especially at crowded spectrum due to the ability of cooperative transmissions to reduce the negative effect of primary user interruptions by buffering the data at intermediate relays. Also, the cooperative throughput performance enhances compared to that of direct transmission as the nodes' density increases due to the increase in the probability of finding intermediate relays.

After that, we answer two questions. The first question is about the way a secondary user pays the cooperation price to its relay and what are the conditions under which the cooperation is beneficial for both of them. The second question is about how to pair the cooperating nodes and allocate channels in an infrastructure based secondary network. To answer the first question, we model the cooperation between the secondary user and its relay as a resource exchange process, where the secondary user vacates part of its dedicated free spectrum access time to the relay as a price for the energy consumed by the relay in forwarding the secondary user's packets. We define a suitable utility function that combines the throughput and the energy then we apply axiomatic bargaining solutions, namely Nash bargaining solution (NBS) and egalitarian bargaining solution (EBS) to find the new free spectrum access shares for the secondary user and the relay based on the defined utility in the cooperation mode. We show that under certain conditions, the cooperation is beneficial for both the secondary user and the relay where both achieve a higher utility and throughput compared to the non-cooperative mode.

Finally, based on the bargaining based shares of the cooperating nodes, the node pairing and channel allocation are optimized for different objectives, namely maximizing the total network throughput or minimizing the maximum unsatisfied demand. Our bargaining based framework shows a comparable performance with the case when the nodes' free spectrum access time shares are jointly optimized with the pairing and allocation process, at the same time, our cooperation framework provides an incentive reward for the secondary users and the relays to involve in cooperation by giving every node a share of the free spectrum that proportional to its utility. We also study the case of using multiple secondary access points which gives more flexibility in node pairing and channel allocation and achieves a better performance in terms of the two defined objectives.

Cooperative communication, dynamic spectrum access, Markov chain, Bargaining solutions