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In this paper, a novel synchronization protocol is proposed especially for Cognitive Radio (CR) networks called CR-Sync. In a CR network, time synchronization is indispensable because of the requirements for coordinated and simultaneous quiet periods for spectrum sensing, as well as the common understanding of time frame/slot in many CR MAC designs. The proposed CR-Sync achieves network-wide time synchronization in a fully distributed manner, i.e., each node performs synchronization individually using CR-Sync. Contrary to many existing synchronization protocols that do not exploit CR attributes, the proposed protocol takes advantage of the potential multiple spectrum holes that are discovered by CR and distributes the synchronization of different pairs of nodes to distinct channels and thus reduces the synchronization time significantly.
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