Sequential and cooperative sensing for multi-channel cognitive radios

Seung Jun Kim, Georgios B. Giannakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Effective spectrum sensing is a critical prerequisite for multi-channel cognitive radio (CR) networks, where multiple spectrum bands are sensed to identify transmission opportunities, while preventing interference to the primary users. The present paper develops sequential spectrum sensing algorithms which explicitly take into account the sensing time overhead, and optimize a performance metric capturing the effective average data rate of CR transmitters. A constrained dynamic programming problem is formulated to obtain the policy that chooses the best time to stop taking measurements and the best set of channels to access for data transmission, while adhering to hard collision constraints imposed to protect primary links. Given the associated Lagrange multipliers, the optimal access policy is obtained in closed form, and the subsequent problem reduces to an optimal stopping problem. A basis expansion-based sub-optimal strategy is employed to mitigate the prohibitive computational complexity of the optimal stopping policy. A novel on-line implementation based on the recursive least-squares (RLS) algorithm along with a stochastic dual update procedure is then developed to obviate the lengthy training phase of the batch scheme. Cooperative sequential sensing generalizations are also provided with either raw or quantized measurements collected at a central processing unit. The numerical results presented verify the efficacy of the proposed algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5454324
Pages (from-to)4239-4253
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received August 20, 2009; accepted April 16, 2010. Date of publication April 26, 2010; date of current version July 14, 2010. The associate editor coordinating the review of this manuscript and approving it for publication was Dr. Philippe Ciblat. This work was supported by NSF grants CCF 0830480 and CON 0824007; and also through collaborative participation in the Communications and Networks Consortium sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory under the Collaborative Technology Alliance Program, Co-operative Agreement DAAD19-01-2-0011. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation thereon.


  • Cognitive radio
  • optimal stopping
  • sequential detection
  • spectrum sensing


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