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Study of Cross-Layer Design in Cognitive RadioTechnology and Future research Directions

Abhishek Pandey, Department of Systems And Computer Engineering Carleton University ,Ottawa-ON

Abstract:-A Cognitive Radio is a trans-receiver which automatically detects the unused spectrum holes and changes its transmission or reception parameters so as to make use of underutilized spectrum This paper previews about various current cross layer designs in implementing Cognitive Radio technology and also discusses about the issues and challenges in designing Cognitive Radio using Cross Layer Design. This paper give brief idea about Cross Layer Design which helps in looking forward into future research direction I. INTRODUCTION In a world of constantly evolving wireless technology. It is believed that there is a scarcity of spectrum below 3GHz,due to the policy of fixed spectrum assignment a huge portion of spectrum is underutilized which gives rise to a new paradigm in wireless communication to opportunistically use the spectrum which is known as Dynamic Spectrum Assignment, consequently a propitious technique known as cognitive radio was proposed as a solution to the scarcity of spectrum which exploits the existence of underutilized spectrum. The main aim of cognitive radio is to bring awareness, curativeness and self- managing capabilities which introduces intelligence in the network operations. By using Dynamic Spectrum Access cognitive radio adapts efficiently to the constantly changing transmission/reception parameters .According to ref:[1] Cognitive radio is aimed to sense and detect the primary user and the availability of the spectrum and manage the best suited frequency channel among the unutilized spectrum and fairly leaving the spectrum usage when licensed primary user is detected.

There are more challenges at the Mac layer when it comes to the secondary user ,when it has to decide which channel to use and when to transmit and receive without effecting the primary user which introduces a design problem at the MAC layer[2],[3]the solutions to these problems are not provided in a layered architecture. Hence we need a cross layered architecture which makes use of the fact of sharing of information among all the layers .The basic idea behind introducing cross layer design into cognitive radio is to make the protocol stack much more responsive to the changes occurring at the underlying network. In section II we will discuss about the technology and the functions of cognitive Radio. In Section III we are going to see how Spectrum sensing is done in Cognitive radio after which we will discuss about the role of cross layered design in Cognitive Radio and some of the important cross layered protocols in Cognitive Radio like Physical/MAC cross layer design and transport /Physical cross layer Design . Section V is about the issues and the challenges faced in Cognitive Radio and finally in section VI the future research directions in Cognitive Radio and Cross Layer Design II. COGNITIVE RADIO TECHNOLOGY The concept of Cognitive Radio was proposed by Mitola[4] in order to effectively exploit opportunities in unused spectrum. The main functions of Cognitive Radio are 1).Determining the spectrum holes by sensing the spectrum 2).Deciding the best spectrum to meet the requirements of the user 3).Sharing the spectrum with CR neighbours

4).To avoid interference with the primary user in such a way that the cognitive radio devices must configure by itself along with self-optimization. The parameters in wireless channel changes constantly. The constantly varying parameters are due to several reasons like node mobility, change in operation frequency ,interference with the neighbours appearance of primary user. In order to execute these operations the system must be fast enough to appropriately reconfigure itself with the occurring changes where transparency in the operations are required III. SPECTRUM SENSING: In order to achieve the goal of Cognitive Radio the basic requirement of cognitive user is the spectrum sensing. In this section we will discuss about the approach of cross layer in spectrum sensing[5].In the process of spectrum allocation the cognitive radio is considered to be the least priority when compared to primary user, as well as the primary user has no need to change its infrastructure. Hence it is the task of cognitive radio to independently detect the primary user and continuously sense the spectrum. In the process of spectrum sensing, in order to avoid the "Hidden Terminal" problem the cognitive user should outperform the primary user receiver by a large margin . The margin is required because the cognitive user does not know the channel measurement between the primary user receiver and the transmitter ,the decision is based on the channel between primary user receiver and the transmitter .This type of sensing is done using Local Spectrum Sensing [5],[6]. Here matched filter, energy detector or cyclostationary feature detector can be used as a Local Spectrum Sensing The comparison table between the performances of different types of LSS detectors and their feasibility to cognitive radio is given in table 1.[7]

Table 1. Parameters MF Prior Knowledge on the Yes received signal Threshold PSD Discrimination noise No from modulated signal Feasibility for CR Null

ED No PSD No Yes

CFD No SCF Yes Yes

In worst case "Hidden Terminal "problems occurs when the Cognitive Radio is Shadowed, multipath Fading or due to the penetration loss occurred inside the building , the problem of shadowing or penetration loss can be solved by using multiple cognitive radio which can co-ordinate to perform spectrum sensing in the fading channels[8]. IV. CROSS-LAYER APPROACH FOR COGNITIVE RADIO Cross-Layered approach to cognitive Radio can be done in two ways evolutionary or revolutionary approach. Evolutionary approach modifies the existing protocol stack but in a Revolutionary approach a new structure is designed which can be approached either in a centralized manner or distributed manner[10]

Shared Database

new interface Fig 1:

a)adding a new interface b) Using a shared database among layer for direct communication

a) Distributed approach A new interface is added in such a way that every layer can communicate with each other .This approach is used only when there is a limited number of information exchange among the layers ,because in this approach memory is an issue

b) Centralized approach or Shared database In this architecture a common database is made accessible by all the layer ,which provides storage and retrieval of information

Physical Layer

Primary user Detection

Adaptation and Optimizatio n

MAC Layer

Co-operation Combine Sensing measurements & jointly allocate Spectrum

Fig 2: Cross Layer functions in Physical and MAC Layer for Spectrum Sensing Spectrum sensing is done at the physical and Mac layer ,the interaction between MAC and Physical Layer occurs more frequently than any other layer hence the cross-layer design between the two layer is must ,where as the spectrum management like handover, decision making and scheduling are done at all the upper layers .the interaction and co-ordination between the different layers of protocol stack are necessary .Hence violation of strict layered based approach gives better performance Physical/MAC Layer Protocol In a Cognitive Radio MAC Layer should be able to adapt itself as per the availability of recourses and optimize itself as per the mobility and density. At the physical layer the advanced techniques such as multiple coding, modulation scheme, MIMO, OFDM technologies improves the performance delays throughput and packet loss[11]. Q. Zhao,[12] explains about Physical and MAC layer protocols to increase the spectrum efficiency and to reduce the interference with the primary user. In a Cognitive radio waiting for idle time slot introduces a packet delay and poor quality of service. To overcome this disadvantage W. Chen [12] proposed a joint coding and scheduling method for cognitive multiple access Transport/Physical cross-layer design In a multi-hop wireless cognitive network, the capacity of a link is time-varying due to the factors such as interference, variable channel quality, fading and so

on. In wireless networks, packet loss occurs for reasons such as congestion, channel error or node mobility etc To optimize an end to- end transmission mechanism, the varying link capacity should be taken into consideration. Cross-layer design between transport layer and physical layer for wireless networks has been researched for a long time. The relating methods in the literature can be classified into two categories. In the first category, the congestion control algorithm of TCP can be optimized by taking the information collected from the physical layer into consideration. For example, we can use the information from physical layer to differentiate packet loss due to congestion or bad linkquality. Instead of passively taking action only in TCP, TCP and physical layer control scheme can be optimized jointly. Such schemes belong to the second category, which involve more complicated algorithms as well as more sophisticated protocols and implementations [9]. There are many parameters can be controlled in the physical layer. It is difficult and inaccurate to have one control mechanism to cover the optimization of all parameters. A practical scheme is to focus on one or two parameters in the control mechanism and assume that other parameters are fixed. The routing path is assumed to be fixed in joint congestion and power control algorithm. When congestion occurs, a mechanism to avoid congestion is to find a better routing path. V. ISSUES IN COGNITIVE RADIO a).Co-Existence The most important issue is to keep the primary user unaffected by the secondary users interference. Since the frequency allocation is not provided to the primary user the activities of the primary user is undetermined. At the same time other secondary users are also competing for the spectrum holes hence self coexistence is difficult to achieve. Overlay and Underlay are some of the possible approaches for this problem. In underlay approach the secondary user is restricted to keep the transmission power below noise floor of primary user as defined by FCC[14],and the transmission of secondary user is considered as a noise by the primary user. Hence spectrum handover can be done using this technique b). Accuracy in sensing Sensing is done in order to determine whether the channel is busy or idle, as discussed in previous sections it is Physical/MAC Layer related process,

using LSS in which energy detection is a scheme which can easily be implemented. Accesses to spectrum is achieved through sense before transmit approach (Fig 3). Accuracy in detection of primary user is very important because the basic idea behind Cognitive Radio is not to interfere with primary user. Hence a cooperative MAC protocol which uses Co-operative sensing to solve the hidden primary user problem is used ,but co-operative sensing addresses a problem of noise uncertainty due to multipath fading shadowing and this problem is solved by Centralized, distributed or External sensing approach.

levels of adaptation, architectural issues represent a complex challenge as they include mainly the definition of architectures for Software Adaptable Networks [15], but also compliance and inter-operability with ISO/OSI or TCP/IP protocol stacks, standardization of transparent signaling structures. e). Security issues Although it is essential to develop secure protocols for spectrum access by the secondary user, it also important to consider other aspects of security like authorization. First, since in a Cognitive Radio Network Primary Users and Secondary Users are distinguishable, authenticating Primary User and Secondary User is especially important since they have unequal privileges. Although, this may be fairly straightforward for centralized architectures by making the Secondary User sign using a centralized authority, this is harder to achieve in a distributed secondary network where a centralized authority cannot always be implemented. Second, in the context of Cognitive Networks, there is an unique authorization requirement called conditional authorization. It is conditional because the Secondary users are authorized to transmit in licensed bands only as long as they do not interfere with Primary Users communications in that band. As it is difficult to pinpoint exactly which of the secondary users is responsible for harmful interference to the PU transmission, this type of authorization is hard to enforce and even more so in a distributed setting.[16]. f). Energy Consumption In wireless communication devices the consumption of energy has always been an issue . Similarly in Cognitive Radio , due to the continuous sensing of the spectrum the energy consumption in the cognitive device is excess. The lower the number of channels that are scanned the lower the power that is consumed and the time that is spent. However, scanning the entire spectrum and arbitrarily selecting the channels to sense, two common approaches in CR MAC proposals, are not appropriate to reduce the average number of channels that must be sensed prior to a successful access. Jiang, Grace and Liu [17] explicitly aims to reduce the need for spectrum sensing. It uses a reinforcement learningbased approach which enables CR devices to use their prior learning experiences instead of sensing.

(Sensing Time)

(Transmission Time)

(Total time)

Fig 3 :Sense before Transmit approach In Centralized sensing a base station or an access point senses the spectrum information sent by the cognitive device and processes it for decision making and broadcasts the information. In a Distributed system the decision making is independent by the cognitive devices but there is information sharing among each other . In External sensing an external agent is used to sense the spectrum and the information is broadcasted to the Cognitive Radio devices. c). Spectrum Decision Selecting which spectrum to use is an important issue. The Secondary user are expected to dynamically choose the best available channels and parameters. The decision making requires learning techniques which must be able to decide accurately. Several methods have been used for learning technique such as evolutionary computation, fuzzy logic, Markov decision process, pricing theory, and reinforcement learning Hence the learning engine becomes responsible for controlling the knowledge hence it is important to select a proper computation method for learning engine the learning process is a complex process in decision making and the designing of learning process is a challenge. d). Architecture-related Problems In a wider scenario including cooperation among several devices and across different network and higher

VI. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS a). Spectrum Handover Spectrum handovers are a major requirement in Cognitive Radio, as any lack of QoS assurance for secondary users is undesirable, especially for some classes of data traffic. b).Energy Efficiency Energy efficiency is a major concern in wireless communications as it enables to preserve battery life. In CR scenarios, spectrum sensing is one of the main sources of energy and time consumption, but also one of its key components. The lower the number of channels that are scanned the lower the power that is consumed and the time that is spent. Hence there are possibilities of research directions to reduce the need of spectrum sensing which in turn will increase the energy efficiency of the system. c).Efficient spectrum selection Intelligent decision mechanisms are expected for taking optimized spectrum access and sharing decisions. The main goals are delivering the maximum performance to secondary users and avoiding harmful interference to primary systems, which are expected to be unaware of the dynamic spectrum access according to the orthodox vision of the CR paradigm. In this context, the applicability and feasibility of learning based on past experience and observation, and intelligent decision making algorithms, which are capabilities of the CR engine are often considered a core CR issue. This approach includes knowledge from other areas, such as reinforcement learning . Designing a learning process is a complex and a challenging field which could prove to be a promising area for research in the field of Cognitive Radio. d). Learning Based on Past Experience Since the time spend to find idle channel is an issue in Cognitive Radio "Learning Based on Past Experience" has become a core research area because it characterizes the channels in terms of primary user activity[17].Some of the benefits are as follows. 1).The time spend to find an idle channel can be decreased by prioritizing the probability of the availability through past experience 2). Spectrum Handover and interruptions are reduced because channels can be prioritized according to their availability.

3). Decrease in interference with primary user because the activity of primary user can be determined probabilistically.

CONCLUSION : In this paper we discussed about Cognitive Radio and the need of such a technology, the use of Cross-Layered Design. The paper clearly emphasizes on the sensing methods and the need of effective utilization of spectrum under different perspective. The paper provides an overview of the issues and challenges faced at the implementation stage like modularity, scalability , system complexity and compatibility ,we also saw that in order to solve these issues tradeoffs should be made between performance improvement and loss of layered design by using CrossLayered Design . Here in this paper it is also discussed about the future directions of research. The Main objective of this paper is to provide a global vision about Cognitive Radio, its principles, present state of development and future directions, to discuss the challenging issues and the need of future investigation making cognitive radio a promising research areas .

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