Delay Analysis of Multichannel Opportunistic Spectrum Access MAC Protocols

Arash Azarfar, Jean-François Frigon, Brunilde Sansò

We provide in this paper a comprehensive delay and queueing analysis for two baseline medium access control (MAC) protocols for multi-user cognitive radio (CR) networks and investigate the impact of different network parameters, such as packet size, Aloha-type medium access probability and number of channels on the system performance. In addition to an accurate Markov chain, which follows the queue status of all users, several lower complexity queueing theory approximations are provided. Accuracy and performance of the proposed analytical approximations are verified with extensive simulations. It is observed that for CR networks using an Aloha-type access to the control channel, a buffering MAC protocol, where in case of interruption the CR user waits for the primary user to vacate the channel before resuming the transmission, outperforms a switching MAC protocol, where the CR user vacates the channel in case of appearance of primary users and then compete again to gain access to a new channel. The reason is that the delay bottleneck for both protocols is the time required to successfully access the control channel, which occurs more frequently for the switching MAC protocol. We also propose a user clustering approach, where users are divided into clusters with a separate control channel per cluster, and observe that it can significantly improve the performance by reducing the number of competing users per control channel.

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