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Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 632762, 15 pages
Research Article

Performance Analysis of Different Types of Sensor Networks for Cognitive Radios

InterDigital Communications, LLC, King of Prussia, PA 19406, USA

Received 9 March 2012; Revised 7 September 2012; Accepted 9 September 2012

Academic Editor: George Tombras

Copyright © 2012 Chunxuan Ye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We consider the problem of using multiple sensors to detect whether a certain spectrum is occupied or not. Each sensor sends its spectrum sensing result to a data fusion center, which combines all the results for an overall decision. With the existence of wireless fading on the channels from sensors to data fusion center, we examine three different mechanisms on the transmissions from sensors to data fusion center: (1) direct transmissions; (2) transmissions with the assistance of relays and (3) transmissions with the assistance of an intermediate fusion helper which fuses the sensing results from the sensors and sends the fused result to the data fusion center. For each mechanism, we analyze the correct probability of the overall decision made by the data fusion center. Our evaluation establishes that a sensor network with an intermediate fusion helper performs almost as good as a sensor network with relays, but providing energy and spectral advantages. Both networks significantly outperform the sensor network without relay or intermediate fusion helper. Such analysis facilitates the design of sensor networks. Furthermore, we generalize this evaluation to sensor networks with an arbitrary number of sensors and to sensor networks applying various information combining rules. Our simulations validate the analytical results.