Invited Talk I Summary: Opportunistic Spectrum Access for Wireless Ad Hoc Networks: Research Challenges

  • Cesar A. Santivanez
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3854)


Traditionally, the frequency spectrum has been rigidly allocated to users/services. This rigid allocation has led to inefficient utilization and an apparent scarcity [1].

More recently, technological advances in a number of areas (software defined radios, wideband sensing, DSP receivers and waveforms agility) have enabled the development of a new communication paradigm, namely Opportunistic Spectrum Access (OSA) that promises to eliminate the apparent scarcity problem.

In OSA, wireless nodes’ spectrum usage is not pre-determined (wired in hardware) with a fixed frequency/modulation assignment, but instead radios become aware of their environment, in particular of the presence of “primary” or “protected” spectrum users, and based on this decide on a spectrum usage that is compatible with the regulatory policy in effect at the current place and time.

OSA promises a significant improvement on spectrum utilization. However, while conceptually simple, OSA turns out to be a very complicated concept to realize, especially under a dynamic mobile ad hoc network where the decisions need to be taken on a distributed and autonomous manner. We revise current efforts underway to realize the OSA vision. In particular, we cover work on two enabling blocks for OSA in a distributed ad hoc network: policy-driven operation, and algorithms for coordinated spectrum allocation.


Policy Language Autonomous Manner Spectrum Usage Opportunistic Spectrum Access Complicated Concept 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Federal Communications Commission, Spectrum Policy Task Force: Report, ET-Docket 02-135 (November 2002),
  2. 2.
    Ramanathan, R., Partridge, C.: Final Report: XG Architecture and Protocol Development (December 30, 2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
    OWL Web Ontology Language Guide, W3C,

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cesar A. Santivanez
    • 1
  1. 1.Internetwork Research DepartmentBBN TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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