Allen B. MacKenzie

Joint Adaptation of Multiple Cognitive Systems without Explicit Coordination

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The project started February 1, 2013 and ended on January 31, 2016. NSF award data for Virginia Tech is here.


Cognitive wireless systems are a collection of wireless network entities that are able to adapt intelligently to the environment through observation, exploration and learning. This project designs methods for cognitive radio systems to compete for inhomogeneous spectrum resources and to establish, without explicit coordination, a spectrum etiquette. Each system’s resource utilization strategy must be decided with only imperfect information of other systems’ actions, and the resulting adaptations must discourage any one system from manipulating the agreed spectrum etiquette. The framework of dynamic games with imperfect private monitoring is adopted to design coexistence mechanisms for cognitive radio systems sharing inhomogeneous resources and to analyze the stability, robustness, complexity, and convergence of these mechanisms. This work directly impacts the development and standardization of frequency agile wireless systems that can more efficiently use the available spectrum to support increasing demand for ubiquitous wireless connectivity at high data rates. The project is a collaborative effort between researchers in the US (at Virginia Tech and the University of Houston) and Finland (at the University of Oulu). This work will extend the state of the art in cognitive system adaptations by incorporating the ability to: efficiently adapt under imperfect information; fairly share inhomogeneous resources; and discourage manipulation of resource use by selfish adversaries. Results will be disseminated in high impact journals and conferences; the designed coexistence mechanisms will also be presented to industry and regulators in the US and Europe.


This is a collaborative project between Virginia Tech, the University of Houston, and the University of Oulu, in Finland. (Participation of the University of Oulu was provided by Tekes.)

Virginia Tech

  • Allen B. MacKenzie, Principal Investigator, Virginia Tech
  • Luiz A. DaSilva, Co-Principal Investigator and Former Principal Investigator, Virginia Tech
  • Ji (Tracey) Wang, Graduate Research Associate

Partner Organizations

  • University of Houston (Prof. Zhu Han)
  • University of Oulu, Finland (Prof. Matti Latva-aho and Dr. Zaheer Khan)


  • Z. Khan, J. Lehtomaki, L. A. DaSilva, M. Latva-aho, and M. Juntti, “Adaptation in a Channel Access Game with Private Monitoring,” Proc. IEEE Global Communications Conference (Globecom), Atlanta, GA, 2013. [PDF]
  • Z. Khan, H. Ahmadi, E. Hossain, M. Coupechoux, L. A. DaSilva, and J. Lehtomaki, “Carrier Aggregation / Channel Bonding in Next Generation Cellular Networks: Methods and Challenges,” IEEE Network, vol. 28, no. 6, 2014.
  • H. Zhang, M. Bennis, L. A. DaSilva, and Z. Han, “Multi-leader Multi-follower Stackelberg Game among Wi-Fi, Small Cell and Macrocell Networks,” Proc. of IEEE Global Communications Conference (Globecom), Austin, TX, 2014.
  • J. Wang, I. Macaluso, and L. A. DaSilva, “Perfect versus Imperfect Monitoring in Multi-agent Opportunistic Channel Access,” Proc. Intl. Conf. on Cognitive Radio Oriented Wireless Networks (CROWNCOM), Oulu, Finland, 2014. [PDF]
  • Hamed Ahmadi, Irene Macaluso, Zaheer Khan, Hanna Bogucka, and Luiz A. DaSilva, “Economic and Game Theoretic Models for Spectrum Sharing,” in Opportunistic Spectrum Sharing and White Space Access: The Practical Reality. John Wiley & Sons, 2015.
  • Yong Xiao, Kwang-Cheng Chen, Chau Yuen, Zhu Han, and Luiz A. DaSilva, “A Bayesian Overlapping Coalition Formation Game for Device-to-Device Spectrum Sharing in Cellular Networks,” IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, vol. 14, no. 7, 2015. [PDF]
  • Yong Xiao, Zhu Han, Kwang-Cheng Chen, Luiz A. DaSilva, “Bayesian Hierarchical Mechanism Design for Cognitive Radio Networks,” IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 33, no. 5, 2015. [PDF]
  • Zaheer Khan, Janne J. Lehtomäki, Luiz A. DaSilva, Ekram Hossain, and Matti Latva-aho, “Opportunistic Channel Selection by Cognitive Wireless Nodes Under Imperfect Observations and Limited Memory: A Repeated Game Model,” IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 15, no. 1,  2016.
  • Ji Wang, “Imperfect Monitoring in Multi-agent Opportunistic Channel Access,” M.S. Thesis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2016.
  • Ji Wang, Luiz A. DaSilva, and Allen B. MacKenzie, “Calculating the Distribution of the Number of Successful Transmission in Multi-channel Random Access,” under review.
  • Ji Wang, Allen B. MacKenzie, Irene Macalusi, and Luiz A. DaSilva, “Partial Observability in Multi-agent Opportunistic Channel,” under review.