George Mason University

Networks Laboratory


NSF Project (2017-2019)
"Efficient, Collaborative Spectrum Sharing through a Systems and Optimal Control Approach"


Acknowledgement

This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CNS-1737989 [EAGER:SC2].

Participants/Organizations

Principal Investigator (PI)

  • Bernd-Peter Paris, Associate Professor, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, George Mason University.

Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs)

  • Brian L. Mark, Professor, Dept. Electrical and Computer Engineering, George Mason University.
  • Jill Nelson, Associate Professor, Dept. Electrical and Computer Engineering, George Mason University.
  • Cameron Nowzari, Asssistant Professor, Dept. Electrical and Computer Engineering, George Mason University.

Graduate Students

  • Hanke Cheng, Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Anticipated graduation in Spring 2020.
  • Zheng Wang, Ph.D. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Anticipated graduation in Spring 2020.
  • Joseph M. Bruno, Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Spring 2017. Co-advised with Prof. Yariv Ephraim
  • Patrick Ryan, M.S. student in Electrical Engineering.
  • Hanan Alqarni, M.S. in Computer Engineering, Spring 2019.

Undergraduate Students

  • Senior Design Team, "Hardware Acceleration of a Software-Defined Radio using an FPGA. Fall 2018 and Spring 2019.
    • Joseph Coffin, B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Spring 2019
    • Pedro De Jesus, B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Spring 2019
    • Alex Maxseiner, B.S. in Computer Engineering, Spring 2019
    • Thai Huynh, B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Spring 2019
    • Lance Strain, B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Spring 2019
    • Nguyen Vo, B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Spring 2019
  • Yiwei Fang, B.S. student in Computer Engineering. Spring 2016 and Summer 2017.

Collaborators

  • Yariv Ephraim, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, George Mason University.
  • Song Min Kim, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, KAIST, South Korea.

High School Summer Intern

  • Mark Chitre, Rising senior at Chantilly High School. ASSIP Summer Intern, Summer 2018.

Goals

The project aims to develop models and algorithms for joint spectrum sensing and resource allocation in the dimensions of time, space, and frequency for cognitive radio (CR) networks. By taking into account spectrum sensing and resource allocation jointly in all three dimensions, higher spectrum utilization can be achieved with lower computational and communication overhead.
  1. Design and develop a competitive Collaborative Intelligent Radio Network (CIRN) solution in conjunction with the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2).  Our solution is based on a systems and control approach to efficient, collaborative spectrum sharing.
  2. Develop a software radio infrastructure at George Mason University to serve as a platform for further research in cognitive radio networks, cognitive radar, spectrum management, and related areas.
  3. Advance research in the five core technical areas associated with the project:
    1. Reconfigurable radio
    2. RF environment understanding
    3. Reasoning
    4. Contextualization
    5. Collaboration

Activities

Setup of two Software Radio Nodes (SRNs), also known as Collaborative Intelligent Radios (CIRs): Each SRN consists of the NI/Ettus X310 USRP (Universal Software Radio Peripheral) attached to a Dell R730 server (with NVIDIA GPU).

Research Activities

  • Joint wideband-temporal spectrum sensing: A recursive algorithm for joint wideband-temporal spectrum sensing was developed and shown to significantly outperform previous algorithms based on energy detection and edge detection. Furthermore, the algorithm effectively transforms a wideband sensing problem into a multiband sensing problem by aggregating groups of highly correlated channels to obtain a set of approximately independent channels. This work was led by a PhD student, Joe Bruno and developed further by another PhD student, Hanke Cheng. The joint wideband-temporal spectrum sensing algorithm is being implemented on the CR testbed.
  • Multiband sensing with noisy measurements: We developed a model for spectrum sensing of multiple channels with noisy measurements. The model for characterizing each channel is termed a Markov Modulated Gaussian Process (MMGP). A methodology from stochastic optimization known as Optimal Computer Budget Allocation (OCBA) has been applied to the multiband sensing problem. An algorithm based on the Expectation-Maximization (EM) procedure is used to estimate the parameter of the MMGP, while OCBA is used to allocate sensing time among the different bands. To apply OCBA, an estimate of the standard error for the EM algorithm must be applied.
  • Spectrum envelope change detection using cepstral: We investigated the use of the cepstrum as a feature vector together with HMM-based temporal spectrum sensing to detect spectrum envelope changes within a given frequency band. The cepstrum has been widely used in speech recognition and speech processing, but to our knowledge has not been applied to spectrum sensing.
  • Cooperative relaying in cognitive radio networks: We investigated a new problem of resource allocation in cognitive radio networks, i.e., an extended Stackelberg game theoretic approach for downlink resource allocation in a secondary user (SU) relay communication scenario. This work extends existing work in the literature that has applied the Stackelberg to the downlink resource allocation problem with direct communications between SUs, but without relays. Our results have shown the that introduction of relays, while complicating the resource allocation problem, will result in better performance of the cognitive radio network provided the density of available SU relays sufficiently high.
  • Gaussian random field model for determining exclusion zones in CRNs: We developing a Gaussian random field model of interference over a coverage region in order to determine exclusion zones where CRs should not transmit, to avoid causing harmful interference to primary users.
  • Stackelberg game formulation of spectrum allocation in CRNs with relays: We investigated a new problem of resource allocation in cognitive radio networks, i.e., an extended Stackelberg game theoretic approach for downlink resource allocation in a secondary user (SU) relay communication scenario. This work extends existing work in the literature that has applied the Stackelberg to the downlink resource allocation problem with direct communications between SUs, but without relays
  • DARPA Spectum Collaboration Challenge (SC2): We participated in the DARPA Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2) as an Open Track team with the team name SpectrumMason. The team successfully completed the DARPA hurdles for Open Track Teams in Dec. 2016 and participated in Phase 1, but did not participate in Phases 2 and 3. To replicate the DARPA SC2 testbed, known as the Colosseum, locally at George Mason University, we acquired two Dell PowerEdge R730 servers and two NI/Ettus X310 servers.

Educational Activities

  • Graduate student research: Three PhD students have been involved in various aspects of the project. One of the PhD students (Joe Bruno) worked on developing an algorithm for joint wideband temporal sensing based on partitioning a given spectrum band into smaller subband, which are then aggregated recursively to determine the bands occupied by primary users (PUs) in the frequency domain. The aggregated bands are then sensed temporally in a multiband spectrum sensing configuration. Another student (Hanke Cheng) has been working on further improvements to the joint wideband temporal spectrum sensing scheme including 1) using cepstral signal features within a given a band to detect changes in the configuration of PU spectrum usage; and 2) extending the Markov chain model for the temporal behavior of PUs to incorporate noisy measurements.
  • Graduate student teaching: A new graduate course on software-defined radio was developed and taught for the first time in Spring 2015 as ECE 699: Software-Defined Radio. The preparation for the course resulted in a set of lecture notes, prepared by Dr. Mark, and a GNU radio laboratory exercise manual, prepared by PhD student Joe Bruno. The course was taught for the second time in Spring 2018. It has been approved as a regular course in the ECE curriculum as ECE 631: Software-Defined Radio and will be taught next in Fall 2019.
  • Graduate student training: PhD students Hanke Cheng and Zheng Wang also participated in the DARPA SC2 effort and developed valuable skills in software-radio implementation. Hanke was involved in the implementation of the PHY and MAC layer protocols, while Zheng was involved in implementation of the collaboration protocol and network layer protocols. Three MS students have worked on the project: Patrick Ryan, Hanan Alqarni, and Bradley Boccuzzi. Hanan Alqarni completed an MS thesis on implemented an efficient LDPC decoder on the GPU of the SRN.
  • Undergraduate student training: During the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters, a Senior Design Team consisting of six students (Joseph Coffin, Pedro De Jesus, Thai Huynh, Alex Maxseiner, Lance Strain, and Nguyen Vo) worked on a project "Hardware Acceleration of a Software Radio using an FPGA." The project involved implementing PHY layer frame synchronization on the FPGA of the X310 using a high-level Verilog synthesis tool. Their project was awarded the Best Senior Design Project for the Spring 2019 semester within the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
  • High school student training: Mark Chitre, a student at Chantilly High School, was involved in the implementation of spectrum sensing in the software-radio platform for the SC2 effort as a Mason ASSIP (Aspiring Scientist Summer Internship Program) in Summer 2018.

Products

Journal Papers

  • J.M. Bruno and B.L. Mark, "A recursive algorithm for wideband temporal spectrum sensing," IEEE Trans. on Communications, vol. 66, no. 1, pp. 26-38, Jan. 2018. DOI: 10.1109/TCOMM.2017.2749578. [PDF]
  • W. Zhou and J.K. Nelson, "Blind sequential detection for sparse ISI channels," EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing, 2018. DOI: 10.1186/s13634-017-0527-3. [PDF]

Conference Papers

  • Z. Wang and B.L. Mark, "Game-Theoretic Framework for Cooperative Relaying in Cognitive Radio Networks," IEEE Int. Conference on Communications (ICC 2020) , Dublin, Ireland, June 2020 (to appear). [PDF]
  • H. Cheng, J.M. Bruno, B.L. Mark, Y. Ephraim, and C.-H. Chen, "Multiband Parameter Estimation for Spectrum Sensing from Noisy Measurements," IEEE Int. Conference on Communications (ICC 2020) , Dublin, Ireland, June 2020 (to appear). [PDF]
  • H. Cheng, B.L. Mark, and Y. Ephraim, "Wideband Temporal Spectrum Sensing Using Cepstral Features," IEEE International Symposium on a World of Wireless, Mobile and Multimedia Networks (IEEE WoWMoM 2019), Washington DC, June 2019. [PDF]
  • S. Wang, S.M. Kim, and T. He, "Symbol-level Cross-technology Communication via Payload Encoding," 38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, Vienna, Austria, July 2018. [PDF]
  • C. Nowzari, "Multi-agent Coordination via a Shared Wireless Spectrum," IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, Melbourne, Australia, Dec. 2017. [PDF]
  • Z. Wang and B.L. Mark, "Gaussian random field approximation for exclusion zones in cognitive radio networks," IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC'17), Montreal, Canada Oct. 2017. [PDF]

Ph.D. Dissertation

M.S. Thesis


Last updated: Mar. 3, 2020