Date of Award

August 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Mustafa C. Gursoy


Cognitive radio, energy efficiency, imperfect channel sensing, Optimal resource allocation, QoS constraints, Wireless Communications

Subject Categories



Rapid growth in the use of wireless services coupled with inefficient utilization of scarce spectrum resources has led to the analysis and development of cognitive radio systems. Cognitive radio systems provide dynamic and more efficient utilization of the available spectrum by allowing unlicensed users (i.e., cognitive or secondary users) to access the frequency bands allocated to the licensed users (i.e., primary users) without causing harmful interference to the primary user transmissions. The central goal of this thesis is to

conduct a performance analysis and obtain throughput- and energy-efficient optimal resource allocation strategies for cognitive radio systems. Cognitive radio systems, which employ spectrum sensing mechanisms to learn the channel occupancy by primary users, generally operate under sensing uncertainty arising due to false alarms and miss-detections. This thesis analyzes the performance of cognitive radio systems in a practical setting with imperfect spectrum sensing.

In the first part of the thesis, optimal power adaptation schemes that maximize the achievable rates of cognitive users with arbitrary input distributions in underlay cognitive radio systems subject to transmit and interference power constraints are studied. Simpler approximations of optimal power control policies in the low-power regime are determined. Low-complexity optimal power control algorithms are proposed.

Next, energy efficiency is considered as the performance metric and power allocation strategies that maximize the energy efficiency of cognitive users in the presence of time-slotted primary users are identified. The impact of different levels of channel knowledge regarding the transmission link between the secondary transmitter and secondary receiver, and the interference link between the secondary transmitter and primary receiver on the optimal power allocation is addressed. In practice, the primary user may change its status during the transmission phase of the secondary users. In such cases, the assumption of time-slotted primary user transmission no longer holds. With this motivation, the spectral and energy efficiency in cognitive radio systems with unslotted primary users are analyzed and the optimal frame duration and energy-efficient optimal power control schemes subject to a collision constraint are jointly determined.

The second line of research in this thesis focuses on symbol error rate performance of cognitive radio transmissions in the presence of imperfect sensing decisions. General formulations for the optimal decision rule and error probabilities for arbitrary modulation schemes are provided. The optimal decision rule for rectangular quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) is characterized, and closed-form expressions for the average symbol error probability attained with the optimal detector under both transmit power and interference constraints are derived.

Furthermore, throughput of cognitive radio systems for both fixed-rate and variable-rate transmissions in the finite-blocklength regime is studied. The maximum constant arrival rates that the cognitive radio channel can support with finite blocklength codes while satisfying statistical quality of service (QoS) constraints imposed as limitations on the buffer violation probability are characterized.

In the final part of the thesis, performance analysis in the presence of QoS requirements is extended to general wireless systems, and energy efficiency and throughput optimization with arbitrary input signaling are studied when statistical QoS constraints are imposed as limitations on the buffer violation probability. Effective capacity is chosen as the performance metric to characterize the maximum throughput subject to such buffer constraints by capturing the asymptotic decay-rate of buffer occupancy. Initially, constant-rate source is considered and subsequently random arrivals are taken into account.


Open Access

Included in

Engineering Commons