Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Computer Science


Ping Ji


Channel acquisition; Cognitive Radios; Dynamic Spectrum Access; Self-coexistence; Spectrum contention; Wireless Networks


This research is dedicated to the study of the challenges faced by Cognitive Radio (CR) networks, which include self-coexistence of the networks in the spectral environment, security and performance threats from malicious entities, and fairness in spectrum contention and utilization. We propose novel channel acquisition schemes that allow decentralized CR networks to have multiple channel access with minimal spectrum contentions. The multiple channel acquisition schemes facilitate fast spectrum access especially in cases where networks cannot communicate with each other. These schemes enable CR networks to self-organize and adapt to the dynamically changing spectral environment.

We also present a self-coexistence mechanism that allows CR networks to coexist via the implementation of a risk-motivated channel selection based deference structure (DS). By forming DS coalitions, CR networks are able to have better access to preferred channels and can defer transmission to one another, thereby mitigating spectrum conflicts.

CR networks are also known to be susceptible to Sybil threats from smart malicious radios with either monopolistic or disruptive intentions. We formulate novel threat and defense mechanisms to combat Sybil threats and minimize their impact on the performance of CR networks. A dynamic reputation system is proposed that considerably minimizes the effectiveness of intelligent Sybil attacks and improves the accuracy of spectrum-based decision-making processes.

Finally, we present a distributed and cheat-proof spectrum contention protocol as an enhancement of the adaptive On-Demand Spectrum Contention (ODSC) protocol. The Modified On-Demand Spectrum Contention (MODSC) protocol enhances fairness and efficiency of spectrum access. We also show that there is substantial improvement in spectrum utilization with the incorporation of channel reuse into the MODSC protocol.