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This full text paper was peer reviewed at the direction of IEEE Communications Society subject matter experts

for publication in the IEEE ICC 2009 proceedings

A New Cooperative Detection Technique


with Malicious User Suppression
Tingting Zhao and Yuping Zhao
State Key Laboratory of Advanced Optical Communication Systems and Networks
Peking University, Beijing, P.R. China
Email: tingtingzhaopku@gmail.com, yuping.zhao@pku.edu.cn
AbstractSpectrum detection for vacant bands is one of the
key techniques in cognitive radio (CR) systems. Cooperative
detection outperforms single user detection in many aspects.
The existence of malicious user could severely degrade the
performance of cooperative CR systems. In this paper, a new
cooperative detection scheme with malicious user suppression is
proposed, which has lower complexity and better performance
compared with the existing one. Simulation results show that
when 25% users in the system are malicious, our proposed
method can introduce more improvement of missed detection
probability by nearly 20%.

I. I NTRODUCTION
The increasing demand for scarce spectrum resource is one
of the main problems in wireless communications. Actually,
according to the report by the Spectrum Policy Task Force
within Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [1], many
bands are underutilized due to the spectrum allocation scheme
based on authorization. In 1999, J. Mitola proposed cognitive
radio (CR) technology [2], which introduced a completely
new way to improve spectrum efficiency. In a CR network,
unlicensed users, i.e., secondary users (SUs), detect spectrum
environment and utilize the spectrum vacancy while tolerable
interference is guaranteed to the licensed user, i.e., primary
user (PU).
If SUs are lack of knowledge about the characteristics of
PU signal, energy detection is the optimal choice with the least
complexity [3] and generally adopted in recent research work.
However, the performance of energy detection is always degraded because of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) wall or channel
fading/shadowing [4], [5]. To increase the detection reliability,
cooperative technique has been proposed to perform among
multiple SUs [6], [7]. In a cooperative system, multiple SUs
separately detect the spectrum state and give their detection
results to the central user (CU) through a control channel.
Generally, if bandwidth of the control channel allows only one
bit, the detection information is hard decision result indicating
whether the observed band is vacant; if the bandwidth is wider,
soft information, which is always quantized energy value,
is transmitted. The detection results are fused by CU. For
soft information, equal gain combining (EGC) is the simplest
method and weighted combining (WC) is more complex with
better performance [8].
In some cases, malicious users possibly exist in cooperative
detection system [9]. Because of malfunction or out of greed,
these users would transmit false information instead of real

detection results, which adversely affects the global decision at


CU. In simple condition, malicious users would continuously
transmit extreme values indicating always Yes or always
No. The information of always Yes will increase the false
alarm probability and that of always No will deteriorate the
missed detection probability. In [10], an effective WC method
was proposed to suppress the impact of false information.
This paper proposes a new cooperative detection technique
to alleviate the influence caused by malicious users. Local
decision results instead of detected energy are fused using
WC for global decision. Weighted coefficients are updated
recursively according to the deviations between separate decision information and the combining result, which avoids
the calculation of mean and standard deviation in the existing method [10]. Additionally, closed-form solution to local
threshold is given and the global threshold is fixed, which
relatively decreases the complexity. Through theoretical analysis and simulations, we prove that the proposed method
outperforms the existing one when the ratio of malicious users
increases.
The rest of this paper is organized as follows. Section II
introduces system model and the existing cooperative detection
method with malicious user suppression. In Section III, the
proposed cooperative detection scheme is described in detail
and the theoretical performance comparison with the existing
one is given. Simulation results and analysis are illustrated in
Section IV, and finally, a conclusion is given in Section V.
II. S YSTEM D ESCRIPTION
We discuss a CR network composed of one CU and N SUs,
denoted by SUi , i = 1, 2, . . . , N . There is one PU occupying
the observed band with a certain probability. Channels between
PU and SUs are assumed to be independent and identically
distributed (i.i.d.). The control channel between SU and CU
is regarded as error-free and can support m-bit (m > 1)
detection information. In addition, we suppose that there
are M (M N ) malicious users in the system. Without
loss of generality, SUi , i = 1, 2, . . . , M , are assumed to be
malicious and continuously provide false information with
extreme values. The state of the observed band indicated by
the false information is always opposite to the truth.
The detection for PU signal is a binary hypothesis testing
problem. The hypotheses of absence and presence of PU
signal, denoted by H0 and H1 , have equal probabilities, i.e.,

978-1-4244-3435-0/09/$25.00 2009 IEEE

This full text paper was peer reviewed at the direction of IEEE Communications Society subject matter experts for publication in the IEEE ICC 2009 proceedings

P (H0 ) = P (H1 ) = 0.5. The received signal of SUi at time


instant k is expressed as follows:

H0 : Yi (k) = ni (k)
(1)
H1 : Yi (k) = hi (k)S(k) + ni (k)
where ni (k) is white Gaussian noise with mean zero and variance n2 ; S(k) is the signal transmitted by PU with variance
s2 ; hi (k) denotes channel fading from PU to SUi , keeping
unchanged during at least one detection interval. The instant
values of hi (k) for SUs are different, but the average channel
gains are assumed to be equal as E[h2i (k)] = h2 . The average
SNR for any SUi is i = = h2 s2 /n2 , i = 1, 2, . . . , N .
When the feature of S(k) is unknown, the SUs perform
energy detection independently. With window width L, the
detected energy from the pth detection of SUi is denoted as
Xp,i =

pL


|Yi (k)|2

(2)

k=(p1)L+1

Accurately, the conditional probability P (Xp,i |Hl ), l {0, 1},


for Xp,i under H0 is central chi-square distributed and that
under H1 is non-central chi-square distributed [11]. According to the Central Limit theorem, P (Xp,i |Hl ) approximately
follows Gaussian distribution N (l , l2 ) if L is large enough.
Values of l and l2 under hypotheses H0 and H1 can be
expressed as [11]

0 = Ln2
(3)
H0 :
02 = 2Ln4


and
H1 :

1 = L(1 + )n2
12 = 2L(1 + 2
)n4

(4)

The m-bit detection information Zp,i , which is always the


quantization of Xp,i , is calculated and transmitted to CU. CU
combines Zp,i from N SUs to get the combining result Zp .
The simplest fusion scheme is EGC, expressed as
1
Zp =
N

N


Zp,i

(5)

i=1

Another applicable choice is WC:


N
1 
Zp =
wp,i Zp,i
N i=1

(6)

in which the weighted coefficients wp,i are selected based on


the principle of enhancing the contribution of highly reliable
SU and suppressing that of SU with low credibility.
p is given by comparing Zp with
At last, the final decision H
the global threshold 1 :

H0 , if Zp < 1
p =
(7)
H
H1 , if Zp 1
Based on Neyman-Pearson criteria, the setting of threshold
aims to minimize missed detection probability Pm while
satisfying the system requirement of false alarm probability,
which is denoted as Pf [5].

In the cooperative detection algorithm presented in [10],


WC is used to reduce the negative impacts of malicious
SUs. No closed-form solution to threshold 1 is given, so
Monte Carlo simulation is needed. Moreover, as its weighted
coefficients wp,i are based on the energy deviations in distribution from the underlying distribution, the mean and standard
deviation for N energy values are needed for each combining,
which also increases the computational complexity.
III. P ROPOSED A LGORITHM D ESCRIPTION
In the proposed algorithm, each SU performs local decision
by comparing the detected energy Xp,i with a local threshold
0 . The m-bit quantized relative energy (i.e. Xp,i 0 ),
instead of quantized energy, is used as soft information Zp,i .
Its sign is regarded as hard decision result and its absolute
value is defined as decision credibility. WC algorithm is used
to combine Zp,i at CU with proper weighted coefficients to
nullify the false information from malicious SUs. Finally, the
combining result Zp is used for final decision with 0 fixed as
global threshold.
A. Weighted Coefficients
In system with malicious users, weighted coefficients are
helpful in nullifying the effect of false information in order
to enhance the reliability of global decision. In this paper, the
updating of weighted coefficients is related with the credibility
of each SUs detection information.
Here, we define factor Cp,i to evaluate the loss of reliability
at the pth detection for SUi , i = 1, 2, . . . , N . The value of Cp,i
ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 represents no loss of credibility
and 1 means completely unreliable. The function of Cp,i ,
denoted as wp,i = (Cp,i ), is used as weighted coefficient
for Zp,i . Then the combining result from WC is
N
1 
(Cp,i )Zp,i
Zp =
N i=1

(8)

where w = (C) is selected as a monotone decreasing


function of C (C, w [0, 1]) to assign larger weighing (wp,i
is closer to 1) to SU with higher credibility (Cp,i is closer to
0). In this paper, a raised-cosine function with roll-off factor
is recommended:

1
if 0 C < 1

1+
(C 12 )
if 1

C
<
w = (C) = 21 1sin
2
2

1+
0
if 2 C 1
(9)
By adjusting the value of , the roll-off property of raisedcosine function can be controlled, leading to a flexible suppression effect.
Using Zp as a reference value, we define the normalized
deviation for Zp,i as
p,i =

|p,i |
max{|p,i |}
i

(10)

This full text paper was peer reviewed at the direction of IEEE Communications Society subject matter experts for publication in the IEEE ICC 2009 proceedings

where p,i is Zp,i Zp and max{|p,i |} denotes the largest


i
|p,i | over all possible i, i = 1, 2, ..., N . Then the recursive
updating process for Cp,i can be expressed as
Cp,i = Cp1,i + (1

)p,i

(11)

where [0, 1] is the forgetting factor and its value is a tradeoff between accuracy and convergence speed. With initialization as C0,i = 0, i = 1, 2, ..., N , factors Cp,i finally converge
to different stable values. With = 0.5 and = 0.95, the
updating processes of Cp,i and wp,i for one malicious user
and one law-abiding user are illustrated in Fig. 1. For the
malicious user, which provides false information continuously
during the observation time, the corresponding Cp,i gradually
grows to 1 and wp,i approaches 0; for the law-abiding user,
its Cp,i converges to a small value and wp,i remains 1. The
recursive updating of Cp,i can enhance the contribution of SUs
with better channel condition while suppressing the effects
of those with bad channel condition or continuous malicious
motivation in the observation duration.
1

for malicious user

0.6

0.4

for law-abiding user

0.6

0.4

0.2

100

200

300

400

100

200

300

400

Fig. 1. The updating processes of Cp,i and wp,i for one malicious user and
one law-abiding user.

The proposed algorithm for weighted coefficients updating


relies on the deviation of detection results rather than the
deviation of their distribution as in [10], which can avoid
the calculation of mean and standard deviation for each
combining. Therefore, our proposed WC method has relatively
lower complexity than the existing one.
B. Threshold and Performance
If the effect of quantization is neglected, Zp,i follows
Gaussian distribution with central offset 0 and equal variance
compared with N (l , l2 ), l {0, 1}:

P (Zp,i |H0 ) N (0 0 , 02 )
(12)
P (Zp,i |H1 ) N (1 0 , 12 )
where l and l2 are expressed as (3) and (4).
We suppose that Zp,i from N SUs are independent. If WC
is used to combine them, the distribution of Zp is


N
N

2 2

wp,i , N02
wp,i
P (Zp |H0 ) N 0N 0
i=1
i=1
(13)


N
N

12 2
1 0

P (Zp |H1 ) N
w
,
w
2
p,i
p,i
N
N
i=1

i=1

i=1

where Q(x) is a monotonic decreasing function of x, defined


2
+
as Q(x) = 12 x et /2 dt. For ease, we define
N

wp,i
Wp = i=1
N

2
wp,i
i=1

in the following text. Then, the expression of Pf (0 ) can be


simplified as
( )W

0
0
p
(14)
Pf (0 ) = P (Zp > 0|H0 ) = Q
0

(15)

If we substitute (3) into (14), the threshold 0 meeting


system requirement Pf can be expressed as
2L

2
0 = n
Q1 (Pf ) + L
(16)
Wp

for malicious user


0.2

N

wp,i


0
0 i=1


,
Pf (0 ) = P (Zp > 0|H0 ) = Q
0
N

2
wp,i

Similarly, we get the missed detection probability as


( )W

0
1
p
Pm (0 ) = P (Zp < 0|H1 ) = 1 Q
1

for law-abiding user

0.8
weighted coefficient wp,i

factor Cp,i

0.8

With fixed global threshold 0, the false alarm probability for


the system can be expressed as

We can see that the updating of local threshold 0 at SU


depends on the value of Wp at CU, which may introduce
time delay or bandwidth overhead for information transmission
from CU to multiple SUs. In ideal condition, the value of wp,i
for a malicious user is 0 while that for a law-abiding user is
1, then we can derive

1
N M
= 
.
Wp =
N M
N 1 M/N
When the ratio of malicious users is sufficiently small, i.e.,
M
1 , so the threshold in (16) can
0
N 0, Wp is close to
N
be approximated into
 2L

2
Q1 (Pf )+ L
(17)
0 n
N
This approximate threshold is independent of Wp , which leads
to relatively lower complexity compared with that in (16).
Then, we can get the false alarm probability from (14) and
(3) as
W

p
(18)
Pf (0 ) = Q Q1 (Pf )
N
and the missed detection probability from (15) and (4) as




Wp
LN

Q (Pf )
Pm (0 ) = 1 Q
2

N 1 + 2
(19)

This full text paper was peer reviewed at the direction of IEEE Communications Society subject matter experts for publication in the IEEE ICC 2009 proceedings

For the existing algorithm proposed in [10], detected energy


is fused at CU and the global threshold 1 is obtained
through Monte Carlo simulation. In this paper, a closed-form
solution to 1 for the existing method is also given based
on the required Pf . Neglecting the effect of quantization,
the distribution of Zp,i is the same as that of Xp,i , so Zp
is distributed as


N
N

2 2

wp,i , N02
wp,i
P (Zp |H0 ) N N0
i=1
i=1

.

N
N

12 2
1

P (Zp |H1 ) N N
wp,i , N 2
wp,i
i=1

If

Pf

i=1

is satisfied, i.e.,

 1
Pf (1 ) = P (Zp > 1 |H0 ) = Q

0
N

02
N2

N

i=1

N

i=1

wp,i

B. Simulation Results and Analysis


= Pf

2
wp,i

(20)
we can deduce



N
N

2 



n 

2 Q1 (P ) + L
1 =
2L
wp,i
w
p,i
f
N
i=1
i=1

and the corresponding missed detection probability can be


expressed as
Pm (1 ) = P (Zp 
< 1 |H1 )



1
L
1

= 1 Q 1+2 Q (Pf ) 2 Wp
According to Cauchy inequality,

N

i=1

(21)


wp,i

N

i=1

2 is
wp,i

satisfied, which indicates Wp N . With the monotonic


decreasing characteristic of Q(x), we can get




1
LN
1

Q
(P
)

Pm (1 ) 1 Q 1+2
f
2





W
LN
1
1

1 Q Np 1+2
Q
(P
)

f
2

(22)
Comparing (19) with (22), we conclude that the proposed
method has lower Pm than the existing one. In the same way,
we can find that the gain obtained on Pm also introduces some
performance loss in terms of Pf , which is deduced from (18)
and (20). However, if the ratio of malicious users is sufficiently
small (i.e., M N ), Pm and Pf for the two algorithms will
be approximately the same.
IV. S IMULATION R ESULT
A. Simulation Environment
We consider a CR network with one CU as well as N = 40
SUs, among which M SUs are malicious. There exists a PU,
possibly transmitting random BPSK signals with power s2 = 1.
Channels between PU and SUs obey i.i.d. Rayleigh fading1
1 The

with the same noise power n2 = 1. Average SNR values for


different SUs are equal and range from -16 dB to -4 dB. Lawabiding SUs perform energy detection as (2) with window
width L = 40 and provide real detection information, which
can be quantized energy or local decision results. Malicious
SUs continuously transmit false information with extreme
values. The maximum false alarm probability allowed in the
system is Pf = 1%. The detected energy Xp,i is up bounded
by 1 + 41 (the overflow probability P (Xp,i > 1 + 41 ) is
less than 3.2 105 ) and uniformly quantized with m = 8
bits. Empirically, the roll-off factor in (9) is set as 0.5 and
the forgetting factor in (11) is set as 0.95.

proposed method is also applicable for other channel models.

Simulation results illustrated here are missed detection


probability Pm and false alarm probability Pf under the given
average SNR and number of malicious users, obtained from
10000 rounds of detection. Three algorithms compared in
the simulation are EGC method based on quantized energy,
existing WC method based on quantized energy given in [10]
and the proposed WC method based on local decision results.
Firstly, we suppose that there are only M = 2 malicious
users in the system. Comparisons of Pm and Pf are depicted in Fig. 2 and Fig. 3. In both figures, the first curve
depicts system performance in the ideal condition (i.e. no
malicious user) and the second curve is for the condition
when 2 malicious users exist. We can see that the presence of
malicious users significantly degrades Pm and Pf . The third
and fourth curves show that both of the existing and proposed
WC algorithms can suppress false information significantly
and improve system performance to be close to the ideal
condition. The simulation results agree with the conclusion
in Section III, i.e., the performance of the two WC algorithms
is nearly the same when M N .
When the average SNR is fixed as -8 dB, comparisons of
Pm and Pf for different algorithms with various ratios of
malicious SUs are shown in Fig. 4 and Fig. 5. From the first
curve in both figures, we can see that system performance
degrades rapidly with the increasing ratio of malicious SUs.
According to (21),(19) and (20),(18), the theoretical curves
for Pm and Pf are given as the second and third curves. The
corresponding simulation results are shown as the scatterplots
in the figures. Compared with the ideal condition without
malicious user, Pm is reduced by nearly 80% and Pf by more
than 95% when the ratio of malicious users is up to 25%.
If WC algorithms with malicious user suppression are used,
performance deterioration can be effectively compensated.
With little loss in Pf , the proposed method can achieve more
gains in Pm compared with the existing one, especially when
the ratio of malicious users is large, which is coincident
with the analysis in Section III. For instance, when 25%
SUs in the system are malicious, the proposed method can
reduce Pm more by 20%, as shown in Fig. 4. From both
theoretical curves and simulated curves, we can see that the
difference between two WC algorithms becomes more obvious

100

100

90

90

80

80

70

70

60

60

Pm (%)

Pm (%)

This full text paper was peer reviewed at the direction of IEEE Communications Society subject matter experts for publication in the IEEE ICC 2009 proceedings

50

40

40

30

30
20
10
0
-16

Fig. 2.

20

ideal condition: no malicious SU


2 malicious SUs, no suppression
existing WC with suppression
proposed WC with suppression
-14

-12

-10
average SNR (dB)

10

-8

-6

-4

Missed detection probability with varying SNR.

50

40

Pf (%)

60

25

40

15

30

10

20

10

Fig. 3.

0.25

-8

-6

-4

False alarm probability with varying SNR.

as the ratio of malicious users increases. This is because the


condition M N can not be satisfied any more.
V. C ONCLUSION
In this paper, a new cooperative detection technique for
malicious user suppression in CR systems is proposed. In our
method, local decision is made by each SU and the detection
results are combined with WC method at CU based on their
reliabilities. Theoretical analysis and simulation results verify
that, compared with the existing method, the proposed scheme
performs better in terms of missed detection probability with
a negligible loss in false alarm probability. Moreover, the
complexity of the proposed method is lower than the existing
one.
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Fig. 5.

no suppression
existing WC in theory
proposed WC in theory
existing WC in simulation
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50

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average SNR (dB)

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80
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0.1
0.15
ratio of malicious SUs

90

30

-14

0.05

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35

0
-16

Fig. 4. Missed detection probability with varying number of malicious SUs.

ideal condition: no malicious SU


2 malicious SUs, no suppression
existing WC with suppression
proposed WC with suppression

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