02.22.08

Cognitive Radio Definitions

Posted in cognitive standards at 9:13 am by JamesNeel

Because a) I sounded like I knew what I was talking about and perhaps more importantly b) I had to get off the teleconference early so I couldn’t say no, I got assigned to revise the SDR Forum Cognitive Radio Working Group’s definition of cognitive radio and the surrounding discussion in a nomenclature document which should come out sometime soon.

Thinking this might be of interest to readers of this blog, I’ve reproduced my contribution in the following.

Cognitive radio refers to both a device and to an engineering paradigm for designing wireless systems. Because cognition is normally associated with human thought processes, the cognitive radio community has adopted several terms from human psychology to describe cognitive radio whose meaning is unclear in an engineering setting. To resolve this, the following also defines these related terms in a manner applicable to wireless engineering.

Cognitive Radio (design paradigm)

An approach to wireless engineering wherein the radio, radio network, or wireless system is endowed with cognition and agency to intelligently adapt operational aspects of the radio, radio network, or wireless system.

Cognition

The capacity to perceive, retain, and reason about information.

Typical types of information used in a cognitive radio include location, environmental information, and internal states.

Agency

The capacity to make and implement choices.

Intelligent

Exhibiting behavior consistent with a purposeful goal.

While a system could be cognitive without exhibiting agency (e.g., a brain in a jar), or could have cognition and agency without intelligence (e.g., a person who makes all of his/her choices by a flip of a coin), all three aspects are critical to the cognitive radio design paradigm.

Perception

The process of acquiring, classifying, and organizing information.

Note that there are many different potential sources from which and kinds of information that may be acquired. Some sources may be internal (e.g., a measurement of an amplifier bias current); some may be external (e.g., information from a networked database); some information may be about itself (e.g., the radio’s own location); and some information may be about other radios (e.g., the interference experienced by another radio).

Reason

The application of logic and analysis to information.

Using these definitions, the cognitive radio design paradigm can be equivalently defined as follows.

Cognitive Radio (design paradigm)

An approach to wireless engineering wherein the radio, radio network, or wireless system is endowed with the capacities to:

  • acquire, classify, and organize information (cognitive – perceive)
  • retain information (cognitive – retain)
  • apply logic and analysis to information (cognitive – reason)
  • make and implement choices (agency) about operational aspects of the radio, network, or wireless system in a manner consistent with a purposeful goal operational aspects of the radio, network, or wireless system (intelligent).

Because there are far too many ways that the cognitive radio paradigm can be applied to list all possible implementations, the following only defines the three classes of implementations most commonly discussed at the time this document was created.

Cognitive radio (device)

  1. A radio designed according to the cognitive radio engineering paradigm.
  2. Cognitive radio as defined in (2) that utilizes Software Defined Radio, Adaptive Radio, and other technologies
  3. A radio, radio network, or wireless system designed according to the cognitive radio engineering paradigm.
  4. A radio endowed with the capacities: to acquire, classify, retain, and organize information, to apply logic and analysis to information, and to make and implement choices about operational aspects of the radio in a manner consistent with a purposeful goal.

Note that cognitive radio does not explicitly refer to a specific realization of a radio. A mobile could be a cognitive radio; a base station could be a cognitive radio; a mesh node could be a cognitive radio; etc..

Cognitive network:

  1. A network designed according to the cognitive radio engineering paradigm.
  2. A network endowed with the capacities: to acquire, classify, retain, and organize information, to apply logic and analysis to information, and to make and implement choices about operational aspects of the network in a manner consistent with a purposeful goal.

Example: An enterprise WiFi network wherein “thin” access points take in sensing information which is then passed to a networked controller; which then assigns channels to the access points.

Note that the centralization of the capacities for cognition and agency is not critical to the concept of a cognitive network. Instead these capacities could be implemented as distributed processes.

Cognitive radio network: A network of cognitive radios

Example: An enterprise WiFi network wherein each access point is a cognitive radio.

It is important to note that having a capacity does not imply that the capability is always used. For instance a mobile cognitive radio might have its operation directed by a network at some times and be self-directed at other times. In all cases, the mobile cognitive radio remains a cognitive radio because it has the requisite capacities even when not actively exercised.

Comments are closed.