Cognitive Radio MAC Protocol for WLAN

Qi Zhang, Frank H.P. Fitzek, Villy Bæk Iversen

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To solve the performance degradation issue in current WLAN caused by the crowded unlicensed spectrum, we propose a cognitive radio (CR) media access protocol, C-CSMA/CA. The basic idea is that with cognitive radio techniques the WLAN devices can not only access the legacy WLAN unlicensed spectrum but opportunistically access any other under-utilized licensed spectrum without a license. The application scenario of C-CSMA/CA is infrastructure BSS (Basic Service Set) WLAN. C-CSMA/CA efficiently exploits the inherent characteristics of CSMA/CA to design distributed cooperative outband sensing to explore spectrum hole; moreover, it designs dual inband sensing scheme to detect primary user appearance. Additionally, C-CSMA/CA has the advantage to effectively solve the cognitive radio self-coexistence issues in the overlapping CR BSSs scenario. It also realizes station-based dynamic resource selection and utilization. It is compatible with any legacy WLAN (BSS) system. We develop and implement the simulation of C-CSMA/CA by OPNET. The simulation results show that C-CSMA/CA highly enhances throughput and reduces the queuing delay and media access delay.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication19th Annual IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications
Place of PublicationCannes, France
Publication date2008
ISBN (Print)14-24-42643-X
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event2008 IEEE 19th International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications - Cannes, France
Duration: 15 Sep 200818 Sep 2008
Conference number: 19


Conference2008 IEEE 19th International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Copyright: 2008 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE


  • Cooperative Spectrum sensing
  • WLAN
  • MAC
  • Cognitive radio


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