700 MHz results

Posted in 700 MHz at 6:18 pm by JamesNeel

Here’s a link wrapup…


The final results are here.


Of greatest relevance to the cognitive radio community, the D-block auction did indeed fail and will not immediately be reoffered. That decision is here. Comments by Commissioner Adelstein is here. (His “It is nothing short of a tragedy that the D block failed to sell,” is just a wee bit over the top.)


Verizon reportedly did quite well in terms of value as measured in in MHz “pops” (MHz x covered population):

It purchased a total of 8.5 billion MHz pops for $9.36 billion. That comes out to an average $1.10 a MHz pop. That average is made up of the nationwide C block, which was relatively inexpensive, as there was little competition, and some very competitive local licenses.

In comparison, AT&T got “2.1 billion MHz pops for $6.64 billion. That represents $3.15 a MHz pop.”


Google thinks itself the big winner.

Here’s why: Google, as we learned on Thursday, did manage to lock in the open access rules by throwing up the minimum $4.6 billion bid early in the game — a move that basically forced Verizon Wireless to pony up even more money for the national spectrum licenses and accept a set of rules that it had previously sued the FCC over. Not bad, when you consider Google didn’t pay a cent to do it (well, other than lobbying fees).

Others (including Google’s Public Policy Blog commentors) aren’t rating is as much of a win for Google because they doubt that Verizon will follow the spirit of the law. A different angle on why it might not be such a win for Google is presented in this article which analogizes the chances for Android (and other open platforms) to AOL’s failed attempt to become a high-speed service provider (basically the margins are too low and the service carrier has subsidized phones). On that last point, I think the iPhone success (and the subsequent hacking) should serve as some evidence that there is a market for unsubsidized phones.


Cognitive Radio Hype?

Posted in artificial intelligence at 10:56 am by JamesNeel

In this post, Keith attempts to place cognitive radio on Gartner’s Hype Cycle and notes that SDR is emerging from the “Hype Trough” with actually useful SDR products now coming to market and posits that cognitive radio is near the peak of inflated expectations as evidenced by the large number of CR conferences.

If it’s not too indulgent, I’ll both agree and disagree with Keith.

If you consider cognitive radio to be the “magic black box” that will solve all of wireless networking problems (snicker, but that’s not an uncommon sentiment and one which I think is consistent with an assumption of embedding true AI into a radio), cognitive radio will most definitely follow Gartner’s cycle. It’ll be years before we have the cheap computational power and software processes necessary to realize the required artificial intelligence. In the mean time, cognitive radio will be dramatically overhyped, which when the hype is not quickly realized, make most people pessimists on the technology which will induce a hype trough. Eventually, however, AI will be embeded in your radio (likely shortly after the Singularity) and the stages of Gartner’s hype cycle will be complete.

However, if you consider cognitive radio to be a shift in the wireless networking design process to one that allows design decisions to be made by “intelligent” devices post-deployment, then I don’t think Gartner’s cycle will apply. The emergence of actual SDR noted by Keith will (and in some cases is) dramatically shorten the transition time from algorithm conception to deployment. Thus when researchers conceive of an intelligent algorithm consistent with the cognitive radio design paradigm, we’ll be able to almost immediately transition it to productive realizations. Of course the better coupled an organization’s algorithm design and testing processes are with its deployment processes, the faster the transition from concept to productive implementation will be.

For example, consider Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) which is certainly a long ways from a realization of cognitive radio the magic black box, but is an example of the cognitive radio design paradigm. DSA (while we’re still researching it!) is already being standardized in 802.22, 802.11h,y, and 802.16h. Likewise other realizations of the cognitive radio design paradigm (edge security, intelligent RRM, cognitive routing…) should also move so quickly from conception to implementation that neither the hype peak nor the hype trough will have time to build prior to productive deployments.

So, I’ll agree with Keith that cognitive radio as ”artificial intelligence embedded in a radio” will most definitely follow Gartner’s hype cycle. However, there’s another deployment path for cognitive radio wherein envisioned cognitive radio capabilities are deployed as a series of intelligent algorithms incorporated into radios. The transition time for these algorithms will be much shorter because the goals are much more manageable. Further, other trends in the wireless world (such as the emergence of SDR from the hype trough) will so shorten the transition period that the hype bubble (peak and trough) will not have time to build prior to deployment.


The Impending Cognitive Apocalypse

Posted in humor at 2:49 pm by JamesNeel

Somehow, this just amused me. Cognitive radio heralds the end of days.

(It’s actually a straight up summary of cognitive radio, but the blog is all about signs of the apocalypse and is apparently citing cognitive radio as an example.)


Conference Submissions Updates / Reminders

Posted in conferences at 11:24 am by JamesNeel

SDR Forum abstracts are due March 21 (Friday).  That’s ALOT earlier than normal.

Milcom extended its abstract submission date to April 7. (They were originally due today.)


AI Article in EE Times

Posted in artificial intelligence at 10:18 am by JamesNeel

Here. Basically, they’re looking to make a computer-controlled avatar that could pass the Turing test. While there’s not a lot of technical depth there, from a CR perspective there’s some insights that can be made from the following excerpts.

Mimicking the behavior of a human-controlled avatar in a virtual world like Second Life is possible, according to Bringsjord, if you craft the necessary algorithms carefully and run them on the world’s fastest supercomputer. Bringsjord’s synthetic-character software runs on the supercomputers at CCNI, which together provide more than 100 teraflops, including a massively parallel IBM Blue Gene supercomputer (the title-holder to world’s fastest supercomputer), a Linux cluster-supercomputer, and an Advanced Micro Devices Opteron processor-based cluster supercomputer.

Rascals is based on a core theorem proving engine that deduces results (proves theorems) about the world after pattern-matching its current situation against its knowledge base. Each proven theorem then initiates a response by virtue of having a synthetic character speak and/or move in the virtual world.

“Upon analysis, anything that our synthetic character says or does, is the result of a theorem being proven by the system,” said Bringsjord. “So far, theorem provers have only been used in toy-problems. We are scaling that up to enough knowledge for a synthetic character, which requires a very fast supercomputer.”

Bringsjord’s research group recently passed a milestone by programming a synthetic character to understand a “false belief.” For instance, to create a false belief you could hide a stuffed bear in a cabinet in front of a child and an adult, and then when the adult leaves the room, move the bear to a closet while the child is still watching. Here, the child should know that the adult now has a false belief–that the bear is still in the cabinet.

In general, we (the CR community) will cannot assume our radios will have their own supercomputers (at least for a decade if not longer).

  • Our radios’ run-time adaptations will need to be determined by far simpler algorithms than what is being currently explored in the AI community
  • This could be supplemented by case-based reasoning to choose algorithms
  • Attempts to automatically define solutions for completely novel problems should likely only be handled during off-line processing (to establish cases for online processing).
  • Even then, it will likely be necessary to restrict our reasoning algorithms to scenarios analogous to the “toy-problems” alluded to in the preceding. In practice this means highly restricted reasoning domains.
  • Since we shouldn’t be trying to make the 100% solution in our first generation of CR (or even the second or third generations), we can and should be constantly looking for ways to “cheat”. The AI community has to infer what people are thinking. For inter-radio reasoning, one radio could just ask / download what the other radio knows.


WiCOM08 Special Session on Cognitive Radio

Posted in conferences at 11:34 am by JamesNeel

WiCOM08 (to be held in October 14-16 in Dalian, China) will hold a special session on cognitive radio and software radio. The session announcement is here, papers are submitted here, and the general call for papers is here. Relevant dates:

  • Paper submissions: April 30, 2008
  • Notification: June 1, 2008
  • Camera ready submission: July 1, 2008


3 MANET Drafts and an RFC Published

Posted in standards, Uncategorized at 10:18 am by JamesNeel

Speaking of MANETs, the IETF MANET working group published 3 drafts and an RFC. An overview of the publications is given here:

Of the three new Internet Drafts, one is on a neighborhood discovery protocol that allows nodes to discover and work with nodes one and two hops away. A second one is about how to build a packet format capable of carrying multiple messages. A third one, about the Management Information Base, describes a set of tools for configuring and managing routers on a mobile network.

In addition, IETF approved “Jitter Considerations in Mobile ad-Hoc Networks” as a Request for Comment (
RFC 5148). This work suggests ways to randomly vary packet transmission times in order to avoid packet collision. Internet Drafts are submitted to IETF for consideration as standards. Once approved, they become RFCs.

Also, apparently as part of the meeting, there were demos of variations on OLSR (I have no details on exactly what was implemented).

In the context of cognitive radio, view the drafts as new sets of processes that can be leveraged to make observations, distribute information, and control platforms (particularly useful in a cognitive network implementation). The RFC should similarly provide points to make observations and control device operation (transmission timing in particular).

Call for more cognitive radio contributions at military forum

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:54 am by JamesNeel

Not a lot new here, but passing along the link which summarizes a speech given by U.S. Army Col. Timothy A. Kokinda yesterday at the Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum.

What I did find interesting was the emphasis placed on interoperability as I’m used to thinking of DoD cognitive radio = spectrum management + MANETs. So really this should be a reminder that applications are not domain-specific.

Agarwal on Cognitive Radio

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:48 am by JamesNeel

Here. Basically an introduction to the concept and applications for the uninitiated.

A pet peeve of mine (of which I have many!), he repeatedly capitalizes “cognitive” as if it were a proper name or a term of reverence. Normally, I wouldn’t mention this but he’s not alone in this habit and I would like to nip this usage in the bud before it becomes too common.


EE Times article on security and CR

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:34 am by JamesNeel

The EE Times notes that VT professor Jung-Min Park received an NSF grant to study security in cognitive radio networks. I’ve seen Wireless @ VT presentations that cover the subject in more detail, but from the writeup it looks like its predominately traditional cognitive radio research areas (e.g., cooperative sensing, etiquettes) and not a lot of security.

Next time I’m in Blacksburg, maybe I’ll do some original “blog” reporting and find out if there’s more than meets the eye.

Milcom 08

Posted in conferences at 9:14 am by JamesNeel

Call for papers here. It’s Nov 17-19 in San Diego. While this will probably change in a few years as the technology matures, I’m of the opinion that the real interesting work in cognitive radio right now is in the DoD sphere.

Relevant dates for papers:

  • Abstracts Due: March 17, 2008
  • Draft Papers Due: April 25, 2008
  • Author Notification: June 9, 2008
  • Final Papers Due: July 18, 2008

For tutorials:

  • Proposals Due: March 21, 2008
  • Notification: April 25, 2008
  • Material Due: July 25, 2008


FCC Research Papers on Spectrum Management

Posted in game theory, spectrum at 8:44 pm by JamesNeel

Michael Marcus points to a series of papers released by the FCC on management and efficiency tradeoffs between licensed and unlicensed users.

  • Working Paper #41, “Enhancing Spectrum’s Value Via Market-informed Congestion Etiquettes”
  • Working Paper #42, “Modeling the Efficiency of Spectrum Designated to License Use and Unlicensed Operations”
  • Working Paper #43, “A Market-based Approach to Establishing Licensing Rules: Licensed Versus Unlicensed Use of Spectrum”

I’m busy this week, but I might try to give my two cents on the papers next week.

GameComm 2008

Posted in conferences, game theory at 8:33 pm by JamesNeel

A topic near and dear to me, GameComm 2008 has a call for papers out looking for papers on the application of game theory to communications networks. Odds are strong that I won’t be able to make it (it’s sandwiched between DySPAN – Oct 14-17 and the SDR Forum, Oct 26-30), but here’s the relevant info:

  • Conference Site: Athens, Greece
  • Conference Date: October 20, 2008
  • Paper due: June 2, 2008
  • Acceptance date: July 8, 2008
  • Camera ready due date: August 8, 2008
  • Selected Topics:
    • Medium access control
    • Power control
    • Routing and message forwarding
    • Congestion control
    • Cognitive radio
    • Pricing
    • Security


EE Times Article on Cognitive Radio

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:40 am by JamesNeel

Or more accurately, cognitive radio is named one of the 35 People, Places, & Things That Will Shape The Future.