QoS Support for Voice Packet Transmission over Cognitive Radio Networks
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Cognitive Radio Networks (CRNs) provide a solution for the spectrum scarcity problem facing the wireless communications community. However, due to the infancy of CRNs, further research is needed before we can truly benefit from CRNs. The basic concept of CRNs relies on utilizing the unused spectrum of a primary network, without interfering with the activity of primary users (PUs). In order to successfully achieve that, users in a CRN has to perform spectrum sensing, spectrum management, spectrum mobility, and spectrum sharing. The latter, which is the focus of our research, deals with how secondary users (SUs) share the unused spectrum. Furthermore, to be able to utilize CRNs in practical applications, a certain level of quality-of-service (QoS) should be guaranteed to SUs in such networks. QoS requirements vary according to the application. Interested in voice communications, we propose a packet scheduling scheme that orders the SUs' transmissions according to the packet dropping rate and the number of packets queued waiting for transmission. Two medium access control (MAC) layer protocols, based on the mentioned scheduling scheme, are proposed for a centralized CRN. In addition, the scheduling scheme is adapted for a distributed CRN, by introducing a feature that allows SUs to organize access to the available spectrum without the need for a central unit. Finally, extensive simulation based experiments are carried out to evaluate the proposed protocols and compare their performance with that of other MAC protocols designed for CRNs. These results reflect the effectiveness of our proposed protocols to guarantee the required QoS for voice packet transmission, while maintaining fairness among SUs in a CRN.