With the rapid development of wireless services and applications, the currently radio spectrum is becoming more crowded. How to accommodate more wireless services and applications within the limited radio spectrum becomes a big challenge faced by modern society. Cognitive radio (CR) is proposed as a promising technology to tackle this challenge by introducing secondary users (SUs) to opportunistically or concurrently access the spectrum allocated to primary users (PUs). Currently, there are two prevalent CR models: the spectrum sharing model and the opportunistic spectrum access model. In the spectrum sharing model, the SUs are allowed to coexist with the PUs as long as the interferences from SUs do not degrade the quality of service (QoS) of PUs to an unacceptable level. In the opportunistic spectrum access model, SUs are allowed to access the spectrum only if the PUs are detected to be inactive. These two models known as underlay and overlay schemes, respectively.
This thesis studies a number of topics in CR networks under the framework of these two schemes. First, studied cognitive radio transmissions under QoS delay constraints. Initially, we focused on the concept: effective capacity for cognitive radio channels in order to identify the performance in the presence of QoS constraints. Both underlay and overlay schemes are studied taking into consideration the activity of primary users, and assuming the general case of channel fading as Gamma distribution. For this setting, we further proposed a selection criterion by which the cognitive radio network can choose the adequate mode of operation. Then, we studied the cognitive radio transmissions focusing on Rayleigh fading channel and assumed that no prior channel knowledge is available at the transmitter and the receiver. We investigated the performance of pilot-assisted transmission strategies. In particular, we analyzed the channel estimation using minimum mean-square-error (MMSE) estimation, and analyzed efficient resource allocation strategies. In both cases, power allocations and effective capacity optimization were obtained. Effective capacity and interference constraint were analyzed in both single-band and multi-band spectrum sensing settings. Finally, we studied optimal access probabilities for cognitive radio network using Markov model to achieve maximum throughput for both CR schemes.