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Network evolution towards self-aware autonomous adaptive networking aims at reducing the burden of configuring and managing networks, which leads to performance degradation. In order to optimize network operations, the introduction of self-awareness, self-management, and self-healing into the network was proposed, leading to a novel paradigm in networking - known as cognitive networking. This paper surveys the state-of-the-art, in cognitive networking - identifying fundamental techniques and basic building blocks enabling cognition. Following an overview of existing methods for cross-layer signaling, the paper identifies the most appropriate approaches to be used for cognitive network implementation outlining advantages, drawbacks, and provides guidance for usage of each signaling method.
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