Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Fahad Saeed

Second Advisor

Dr. Ala Al-Fuqaha

Third Advisor

Dr. Johnson Asumadu

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Bilal Khan


Dynamic spectrum access, cognitive radio, wireless communications, Internet of Things, vehicular networks, resource allocation


Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) has been introduced to fulfill the expanded need for spectrum by different wireless networks and applications. Within the realm of spectrum access, the problem of "spectrum crunch" is present since some of the spectrum bands are overcrowded and others are underutilized. DSA aims to alleviate the problem of spectrum crunch. In DSA, Primary Users (PUs) allow Secondary Users (SUs) to access the spectrum as long as they do not interfere with PU transmissions beyond a pre-agreed acceptable level. In this work, a bio-socially inspired approach is proposed for SU interactions in support of better throughput for the whole community of SUs.

Two representative and biologically-inspired spectrum access strategies are proposed and evaluated relative to a baseline strategy that provides anti-social random access to the underlying spectrum. A formal analysis of the interactions among SUs is carried out using Evolutionary Game Theory (EGT). Within the EGT, the problem is formulated as “a game against the field,” in which the replicator dynamics is used to derive insights into the physical conditions necessary for each of the strategies to be evolutionarily stable. This study shows that the physical channels’ conditions almost always uniquely determine which one of the three (pure) strategies is selected, and that no mixed strategy ever survives. Extensive ns-3 simulation and hardware testbed experiments confirm the validity of the analytical conclusions.

The proposed strategies are applied within the Vehicular Networks (VANET) domain, and demonstrated throughput improvement for the infotainment traffic in VANETs. This study also addresses the feasibility of employing combined social avoidance and deference behaviors among SUs for dynamic spectrum access. The employment of these behaviors in the DSA is studied using a simulation framework and an experimental testbed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access