Mitola; Neel et al. - Interacting Cognitive Radios

The Structure of Concern Project compares many theoretical models from many disciplines to the Adizes PAEI model, arguing that they must all be reflecting the same underlying phenomenon. One concern structure model is described below.

The term ‘cognitive radio’ was introduced by Joseph Mitola III (1999) to describe a category of smart wireless technology, where networks of handheld wireless communications devices can optimize and tailor their use of wireless communication bands based on user needs in various use contexts.

To optimize resource use, wireless devices must be able to model their location, their users, networks and the larger environment. Then they can decide which radio bands, transmission/reception interfaces, and communications protocols would be best to use, given their goals and their context. They might even use artificial intelligence to plan, learn or evolve new protocols, in principle. However, better use of wireless resources is the basic goal, reached via a six-stage cognition cycle:

Observe: Get info about the operating context through their sensors or through signaling.

Orient: Evaluate this information to determine its significance and relevance.

Plan: Based on this evaluation, the radio determines its options or alternatives.

Decide: An alternative is chosen that evaluates more favorably than other options, including the current ongoing action.

Act: The radio implements the alternative by adjusting its resources and performing the appropriate signaling. These changes are then reflected in the interference profile presented by the cognitive radio in the outside world.

Learn: Throughout the process, the radio uses its observations and decisions to improve its own operation, creating new modeling states, alternatives or valuations. (Neel et al., 2005)

This cognitive cycle lines up with the 3 individualistic concerns: P, A and E, as follows:

P – Decide, Act
A – Plan, Learn
E – Observe, Orient, Learn

Neel et al. comment that the original cognitive radio concept is unrealistic in one respect, the missing I. In cognitive networks, most of the interference that cognitive radios will face will be from other cognitive radios, all adjusting their resource use dynamically and concurrently. To model this problem, Neel at al. mapped the cognition cycle to the normal form of a game, using game theory to analyze interactions among radios.

1. Mitola III, J. (1999). “Cognitive Radio for Flexible Multimedia Communications.” IEEE International Workshop on Mobile Multimedia Communications, 1999. (MoMuC '99) (pp. 3-10).
2. Neel, J., Menon, R., Reed, J. H., & MacKenzie, A. B. (2005). “Using Game Theory to Analyze Physical Layer Cognitive Radio Algorithms.” The Economics, Technology And Policy Of Unlicensed Spectrum. Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law.
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