Reliable Medium Access Control

The research community has put in much effort in the design of a cognitive radio MAC layer.  The most common design is to have a separate and dedicated control channel, which is then used to allocate time and bandwidth to the network users. The prior channel allocation mitigates interference between the network users and facilitates greater performance for the data communication link. At ReCognize, we are interested in designing MAC layer protocols that are:

1. Resilient to misbehaviors on the control channel, such as jamming or false-reservation; and
2. Distributed scheduling so that the scheduler is not a central point of failure.

SimpleMAC diverges from the static misbehavior model and considers network compromise. Instead of either enabling or disabling the MAC protocol altogether, SimpleMAC uses randomization-based exploration to group the users based on their impacts on the network performance and only coordinate with those users that helps the network’s performance. As a result, it mitigates the impact of the misbehaviors and simultaneously benfits from the collaboration of protocol-abiding users. The scheme also addresses the failure in coordination control communication where a user clogs and denies communication over the coordination channel and render the vacant spectrum unusable and props an interference-resistant control channel.