Evolutionary Pressures in Cognitive Radio Societies Drive Sophisticated Resource Sharing

Wireless communication is an increasingly ubiquitous and important aspect of the digital ecosystem. The Internet of Things (IOT) has been growing rapidly with a population of 4+ billion devices in 2014 and an expected population of 25 billion by 2020 This rapid growth, however, may lead the limited capacity of radio spectrum to reach saturation.

REACH researchers have been contributing to the understanding of evolutionary pressures in cognitive radio (CR) societies that necessarily drive the emergence of more advanced sensing capabilities and correspondingly more sophisticated models of resource sharing. A group of researchers including Bilal Khan and Kirk Dombrowski from REACH recently had a paper analyzing this phenomenon accepted to the 10th EAI International Conference on Bio-inspired Information and Communications Technologies.

In the study, four evolutionary stages were put forth for CR societies based on well-established biological analogues. At each stage of CR evolution, subpopulations that are able to engage in more advanced sensing capabilities and co-use strategies are better able to extract high utility from spectrum resources.

In this manner, it is seen that each stage of CR evolution prepares the way for the next: the present societies of non-foragers facilitate the emergence of foragers; foragers give way to contention- sensing rational CR societies; these, in turn, will likely facilitate the emergence of sociality. Each evolutionary stage is enabled by advances in sensory capabilities and gives rise to new sophisticated resource-sharing schemes that yield more efficient utilization of radio spectrum for secondary users, regardless of primary user activity.

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