A Cognitive TV White Space Access Framework

Martin, John Hugh (2017). A Cognitive TV White Space Access Framework. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000c94e


Given the current boom in applications and services for mobile devices, data traffic is rapidly expanding, with the consequence that increasing spectrum capacity is being mandated. Following the switchover from analogue to digital platforms, Television White Space (TVWS) affords a fertile opportunity to supplement existing licensed spectrum to ease this scarcity. There are however, a number of obstacles to wide-scale TVWS adoption, including the accurate detection of primary users (PU), the hidden node problem and bandwidth availability for unlicensed secondary users (SU). Regulatory and industry bodies have sought to address some of these issues using a static database for spectrum access decisions, though this involves manual maintenance and accuracy can be compromised due to a lack of real-time information. While the new IEEE802.11af wireless local area network (WLAN) standard attempts to resolve some SU access issues, there remain many challenges, such as the critical asymmetry between mobile and base station power resources.

This thesis presents a new cognitive TVWS access framework encompassing a real-time sensing paradigm for TVWS deployment that uses a spectrum-efficient scheme to uphold quality-of-service (QoS) for both PU and SU. A novel dynamic spectrum allocation (DSA) model has been formulated allied with a resilient interference management system which exploits the unique way digital terrestrial TV channels are allocated in different geographical areas. A margin strategy has been framed to support efficient TVWS channel reuse, with an exclusion zone established to overcome the hidden node problem, while an innovative routing algorithm using cross-layer information, both extends coverage capacity and maximises QoS provision by ensuring a more balanced resource allocation.

Critical evaluation of the new access framework confirms that significant QoS improvements for SU are achieved compared to existing TVWS techniques. It importantly embodies a generic, practical, resource-efficient solution for TVWS deployment, which is compliant with current PU regulatory requirements.

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