NSF Career Award Winner

Miao Pan
Dr. Miao Pan
Assistant Professor
Office Location: W342A Engineering Building 2
Phone: 713-743-0557 | Fax: 713-743-4444
Email: mpan2 [at] uh [dot] edu


Cognitive radio (CR) is a revolutionary wireless communication paradigm which releases the spectrum from shackles of authorized licenses, and enables secondary users (SUs) to opportunistically access to the under-utilized licensed spectrum. Due to the great economic value of spectrum, CR technology has also initiated the spectrum market and promoted a lot of interesting research on spectrum trading and harvesting designs in cognitive radio networks (CRNs). Most existing designs rely on the premise that the SUs’ hand-held devices have powerful CR capability. Unfortunately, CR capability may not be easily embedded into light-weight small-sized radios of SUs’ devices, and even if we can have such CR radios, the high price of new CR devices may be discouraging SUs, especially the economically disadvantaged, from using CRNs. Besides, existing spectrum trading approaches mainly focus on per-user based spectrum trading for single-hop communications, lack deep understanding of multi-hop end-to-end service provision. Moreover, considering the uncertain of spectrum supply, the prevalent spectrum harvesting idea of choosing the best band make secondary services vulnerable to interruption due to the returns of primary users (PUs). Finally, to facilitate spectrum trading and harvesting, more accurate information of spectrum availability should be provided and a low-cost fine-grained spectrum map over the PUs’ service area is in need.

Motivated by these facts, this proposed research construct a framework to investigate the spectrum trading and harvesting in multi-hop CRNs, which includes the study of designing a novel CRN architecture, extending spectrum trading for multi-hop CR communications, harvesting spectrum under uncertain spectrum supply, and constructing a fine-grained mobile spectrum map.

Intellectual Merit: The proposed five-year activities are primarily targeted at uncovering the fundamental spectrum trading and harvesting design challenges/tradeoffs and constructing hardware/software platforms with online access to other researchers.

  • CRN Architecture Design. The PI will develop a novel CRN architecture to fully support spectrum trading and harvesting in multi-hop CRNs, notably improve spectrum utilization and effectively facilitate the accessing of SUs without CR devices.
  • Spectrum Trading Extension. Under the proposed CRN architecture, he PI will extend the per-user based spectrum trading into session-based spectrum trading for multi-hop communications, and study the optimal spectrum trading under multiple wireless and featured CRN constraints as well as its economic properties.
  • Spectrum Band-mix Harvest. Instead of choosing the best band, the PI propose metrics to characterize spectrum uncertainty, and employ deviation theory to optimally harvest a mix of bands for the opportunistic spectrum accessing.
  • Fine-grained Spectrum Map Construction. The PI plans to design a portable low-cost spectrum sensing device, and utilize users’ mobility to establish a fine-grained spectrum map.

Broader Impacts: The proposed program is interdisciplinary and combines concepts from economics, decision theory, optimization, communications, networking, and software/hardware development. The results and design philosophy are transformative and can potentially be applied to other research areas. The results will be publicly available online in the forms of tutorials, talks, publications and software toolkits. The research results will be integrated into the existing combined education and research efforts at Texas Southern University. Furthermore, the education component will equip both graduate and undergraduate students with the skills needed to contribute to the field of wireless networks. Outreach activities will be directed to middle school and high school students and teachers. This project will also emphasize increasing the participation of female and under-represented minority students in science and engineering at Texas Southern University, one of the major Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). As such, the broader impact resulting from the proposed activities is also reflected through the integration of research and education for the training of the future minority engineering workforce.