Channel Assignment Algorithms for OSA-Enabled WLANs Exploiting Prioritization and Spectrum Heterogeneity

Francisco NOVILLO  Ramon FERRUS  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E95-B   No.4   pp.1125-1134
Publication Date: 2012/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E95.B.1125
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Cognitive Radio and Heterogeneous Wireless Networks in Conjunction with Main Topics of CrownCom2011)
binary linear programming,  channel assignment,  channel prioritization,  OSA,  spectrum heterogeneity,  WLAN,  

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Allowing WLANs to exploit opportunistic spectrum access (OSA) is a promising approach to alleviate spectrum congestion problems in overcrowded unlicensed ISM bands, especially in highly dense WLAN deployments. In this context, novel channel assignment mechanisms jointly considering available channels in both unlicensed ISM and OSA-enabled licensed bands are needed. Unlike classical schemes proposed for legacy WLANs, channel assignment mechanisms for OSA-enabled WLAN should face two distinguishing issues: channel prioritization and spectrum heterogeneity. The first refers to the fact that additional prioritization criteria other than interference conditions should be considered when choosing between ISM or licensed band channels. The second refers to the fact that channel availability might not be the same for all WLAN Access Points because of primary users' activity in the OSA-enabled bands. This paper firstly formulates the channel assignment problem for OSA-enabled WLANs as a Binary Linear Programming (BLP) problem. The resulting BLP problem is optimally solved by means of branch and bound algorithms and used as a benchmark to develop more computationally efficient heuristics. Upon such a basis, a novel channel assignment algorithm based on weighted graph coloring heuristics and able to exploit both channel prioritization and spectrum heterogeneity is proposed. The algorithm is evaluated under different conditions of AP density and primary band availability.