Decentralized Cognitive MAC for Dynamic Spectrum Access

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Executive Summary

The authors consider the problem of opportunistic Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) in an ad hoc network in which unlicensed secondary users communicate through channels not used by the primary users. Decentralized cognitive medium access control protocols are presented that allow secondary users to recognize spectrum opportunity and transmit based on a partial observation of the instantaneous spectrum availability. Under a framework of Partially Observable Markov Decision Process (POMDP), they derive optimal and suboptimal decentralized strategies for the secondary users to decide which channel(s) to sense and access for the maximization of the overall network throughput.

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