A Hybrid MAC Protocol for Cognitive Radio Ad Hoc Networks

Zaw HTIKE  Jun LEE  Choong Seon HONG  Sungwon LEE  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E95-B    No.4    pp.1135-1142
Publication Date: 2012/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1345
DOI: 10.1587/transcom.E95.B.1135
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)
cognitive radio ad hoc networks,  control channels,  channel hopping,  

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In cognitive radio networks, secondary users exchange control information to utilize the available channels efficiently, to maintain connectivity, to negotiate for data communication such as sender-receiver handshakes, for neighbor discovery etc. This task is not trivial in cognitive radio networks due to the dynamic nature of network environment. Generally, this problem is tackled by using two famous approaches. The first one is the use of common control channel (CCC) and the second one is using channel hopping (a.k.a sequence-based protocols). The use of CCC simplifies the processes of MAC protocols. However, it may not be feasible in cognitive radio networks as the available channels, including control channel, are dynamically changing according to primary user activities. Channel hopping approaches can tolerate the failure of network due to primary user activities. But it causes significant amount of channel access delay which is known as time to rendezvous (TTR). In this paper, we propose a hybrid protocol of these two mechanisms. This hybrid protocol can maintain connectivity and it can guarantee the secondary users to be able to exchange necessary control information in dynamic environment. In our hybrid protocol, we use multiple control channels. If some control channels are unavailable in case of primary user appearances, secondary users still can communicate on different control channels, so it can be more tolerable primary user activities than normal CCC approaches. Channel hopping is performed only for control channels, so it provides relatively small amount of channel access delay.