202 IEEE JOURNAL ON SELECTED AREAS IN COMMUNICATIONS, VOL. 23, NO. 2, FEBRUARY 2005
world), and usesthe methodologyof understanding-by-buildingto learn from the environment and adapt its internal states tostatistical variations in the incoming RF stimuli by makingcorresponding changes in certain operating parameters (e.g.,transmit-power, carrier-frequency, and modulation strategy) inreal-time, with two primary objectives in mind:
highly reliable communications whenever and wherever needed;
cient utilization of the radio spectrum.
Six key words stand out in this de
in-telligence, learning, adaptivity, reliability, and ef
ciency.Implementation of this far-reaching combination of capabilitiesis indeed feasible today, thanks to the spectacular advancesin digital signal processing, networking, machine learning,computer software, and computer hardware.Inadditiontothecognitivecapabilitiesjustmentioned,acog-nitive radio is also endowed with
This lattercapability is provided by a platform known as
, upon which a cognitive radio is built. Software-de
nedradio (SDR) is a practical reality today, thanks to the conver-gence of two key technologies: digital radio, and computer soft-ware 
B. Cognitive Tasks: An Overview
ned radio to perform this task. For other tasks of acognitive kind, the cognitive radio looks to signal-processingand machine-learning procedures for their implementation. Thecognitive process starts with the passive
sensing of RF stimuli
and culminates with
.In this paper, we focus on three
:1) Radio-scene analysis, which encompasses the following:
estimation of interference temperature of the radioenvironment;
detection of spectrum holes.2) Channelidenti
estimation of channel-state information (CSI);
prediction of channel capacity for use by thetransmitter3) Transmit-power control and dynamic spectrum manage-ment.Tasks 1) and 2) are carried out in the receiver, and task 3) iscarried out in the transmitter. Through interaction with the RF
According to Fette , the awareness capability of cognitive radio em-bodies awareness with respect to the transmitted waveform, RF spectrum,communication network, geography, locally available services, user needs,language, situation, and security policy.
gurability provides the basis for the following features .
Adaptation of the radio interface so as to accommodate variations in thedevelopment of new interface standards.
Incorporation of new applications and services as they emerge.
Incorporation of updates in software technology.
exible heterogeneous services provided by radio net-works.
Cognition also includes language and communication . The cognitiveradio
s language is a set of signs and symbols that permits different internalconstituents of the radio to communicate with each other. The cognitive task of languageunderstandingisdiscussedinMitola
sPh.D.dissertation;forsomefurther notes, see Section XII-A.Fig. 1. Basic cognitive cycle. (The
gure focuses on three fundamentalcognitive tasks.)
environment, these three tasks form a cognitive cycle,
which ispictured in its most basic form in Fig. 1.From this brief discussion, it is apparent that the cognitivemodule in the transmitter must work in a harmonious mannerwith the cognitive modules in the receiver. In order to maintainthis harmony between the cognitive radio
s transmitter and re-ceiver at all times, we need a
connecting thereceiver to the transmitter. Through the feedback channel, thereceiver is enabled to convey information on the performanceof the forward link to the transmitter. The cognitive radio is,therefore, by necessity, an example of a
feedback communica-tion system
.One other comment is in order. A broadly de
ned cognitiveradio technology accommodates a
scale of differing degrees of cognition
. At one end of the scale, the user may simply pick aspectrum hole and build its cognitive cycle around that hole.At the other end of the scale, the user may employ multipleimplementation technologies to build its cognitive cycle arounda wideband spectrum hole or set of narrowband spectrum holesto provide the best expected performance in terms of spectrummanagement and transmit-power control, and do so in the mosthighly secure manner possible.
C. Historical Notes
Unlike conventional radio, the history of which goes back tothe pioneering work of Guglielmo Marconi in December 1901,the development of cognitive radio is still at a conceptual stage.Nevertheless, as we look to the future, we see that cognitiveradio has the potential for making a signi
cant difference to thewayinwhichtheradiospectrum canbeaccessedwithimprovedutilization of the spectrum as a primary objective. Indeed, given
rstdescribedbyMitolain ; the picture depicted in that reference is more detailed than that of Fig. 1.The cognitive cycle of Fig. 1 pertains to a one-way
, withthe transmitter and receiver located in two different places. In a
scenario, we have a
(i.e., combination of transmitter andreceiver) at each end of the communication path; all the cognitive functions em-bodied in the cognitive cycle of Fig. 1 are built into each of the two transceivers.