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This full text paper was peer reviewed at the direction of IEEE Communications Society subject matter experts

for publication in the IEEE ICC 2011 proceedings

Resource Allocation for OFDMA-based Cognitive


Radio Systems with Primary User Activity
Consideration
Li Li, Changqing Xu, and Jian He
Department of Electronic Engineering
Shanghai JiaoTong University
Shanghai, China
wsll320@gmail.com, cqxu@sjtu.edu.cn, sword2144@yahoo.com.cn
AbstractIn OFDMA-based Cognitive Radio (CR) systems, how
to deal with the time-varying nature of avaliliable spectrum
resources has become a hotspot and challenging problem in
resource allocation. Traditional resource allocation algorithms
can not guarantee proportional rates among non-real-time CR
users (CRU) because the number of available subchannels is
smaller than that of CRUs in some OFDM symbol durations. In
this paper, taking the maximizing of the sum-rate of all CRUs as
the optimization objective, we propose a resource allocation
algorithm in OFDMA-based CR systems using dual methods
which can maintain statistical proportional rates among CRUs
while keeping the interference introduced to Primary users (PU)
under specified thresholds. In contrast to traditional resource
allocation algorithms, the proposed algorithm can achieve higher
transmission rate and guarantee non-real-time services of CRUs.
Keywords-Cognitive Radio; OFDMA; resource allocation;
proportional rate; Primary User activity; dual methods

I.

INTRODUCTION

Cognitive Radio (CR) is an efficient technology for


improving the utilization of scarce radio spectrum resources by
allowing CR users (CRU) to access frequency bands not being
occupied by Primary users (PU) [1]-[2]. Orthogonal frequency
division multiple access (OFDMA), also known as multiuser
orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), is a
potential candidate for CR systems due to its flexibility in
allocating resource among CRUs [3].
In contrast to traditional OFDMA systems, resource
allocation in CR systems has two challenges: firstly, mutual
interference between PU and CRU has to be considered
especially in systems where PUs do not use OFDM and the
interference introduced to PUs must be limited under specified
thresholds [4]; secondly, the time-varying nature of available
spectrum resources due to PU activity also needs to be
considered. Many resource allocation algorithms have been
proposed in interference-limited CR systems and resource
allocation algorithm with PU activity consideration is a new
hotspot in CR systems. When a PU is active, the corresponding
subchannels in this PUs frequency band are not available to
CRUs, so how to deal with the time-varying nature of available
spectrum resource is a difficult problem. In traditional
OFDMA systems, a suboptimal resource allocation algorithm

has been proposed to guarantee proportional rates among nonreal-time users during each OFDM symbol duration in [5], and
it is implicitly assumed that the number of available
subchannels is sufficiently large in this OFDM symbol
duration. However, in CR systems, the number of available
subchannels is sometimes smaller than the number of CRUs in
some OFDM symbol durations, so the algorithm in [5] can not
guarantee proportional rates among CRUs. In fact, non-realtime services are delay-tolerant and it is unnecessary to
guarantee proportional rates among CRUs in each OFDM
symbol duration, thus non-real-time services can be guaranteed
even in CR systems. In [6], a novel resource allocation
algorithm with consideration of the time-varying nature of
available spectrum resource has been proposed to provide
statistical proportional rates among CRUs. However,
interference between PUs and CRUs is not taken into
consideration in this paper.
In this paper, we extend the scenario in [6] to general case,
taking into account both interference and PU activity in
OFDMA-based CR systems. We will see that, for a given
subchannel assignment, the optimal power allocation follows
water-filling approach with different water levels for different
subchannels. Basing on this property, we propose a resource
allocation algorithm to guarantee statistical proportional rates
among CRUs using dual methods.
II.

SYSTEM MODEL

We consider resource allocation problem on the downlink


of an OFDMA-based CR system in which a CR Base Station
(BS) serves M CRUs and PU BS transmits signals to N PUs.
The total bandwidth is W, which is divided into K subchannels
and each subchannel has a bandwidth of f. The bandwidth of
frequency band occupied by each PU is Wp, which contains
K/N subchannels. It is assumed that the transmission is timeslotted with a slot duration equals to the OFDM symbol
duration Ts. Let htm,k and gtk,n denote the time-varying channel
power gain of the mth CRU and the nth PU of the kth subchannel
in time slot t respectively. The probability density function
(PDF) and cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the mth
CRU are fm(hm) and Fm(hm) respectively. The noise power
density spectrum (PSD) is N0. We assume that a subchannel
can not be shared by more than one CRU and define tm,k as a

This work was supported in part by the National High Technology


Research and Development Program (863) of China under Grant No.
2007AA01Z224 and the National Natural Science Foundation of China under
Grant No. 61071079.

978-1-61284-231-8/11/$26.00 2011 IEEE

This full text paper was peer reviewed at the direction of IEEE Communications Society subject matter experts for publication in the IEEE ICC 2011 proceedings

subchannel allocation indicator which could only be either 1 or


0, indicating whether the kth subchannel is allocated to the mth
CRU or not in time slot t.
Without loss of generality, we assume that all PUs have the
same probability pa of staying in active mode. During the time
slot t, if the nth PU is active, the subchannels in this PUs
frequency band are not available to CRUs and there exists
interference between this PU and available subchannels which
are occupied by CRUs.
In this paper, we consider proportional rates among CRUs
in T time slots first and define {rm, m=1M} as a set of
predetermined values which satisfy
(1)

R1 : R2 : ...: RM = r1 : r2 :...: rM

By introducing the service share d for each CRU [6], the


constraint above can be rewritten as
(2)

R1 / r1 = R2 / r2 = ... = RM / rM = d

where Rm is the transmission rate of the mth CRU during T time


slots.
The PSD of the kth subchannel is
M

k ( f ) = mt ,k pmt ,k Ts (
m =1

sin fTs
)
fTs

(3)

where ptm,k is the power allocated to the mth CRU on the kth
subchannel in time slot t. Thus, the interference introduced by
the kth subchannel to the nth PU in time slot t can be written as
I

t
k ,n

dk ,n +W p /2

g ( f )df =
t
k ,n k

d k ,n W p /2

t
m, k

t
m, k

P U

t
k ,n

(4)

m =1

where dk,n is the spectrum distance between the kth subchannel


and the nth PUs frequency band and Utk,n denote the
interference factor of the kth subchannel to the nth PUs
frequency band.
The interference introduced by the nth PU signal to the kth
subchannel of the mth CRU in time slot t can be written as
J nt ,m,k =

dk ,n +f / 2

dk ,n f /2

hmt ,kRR ( e j )d

(5)

where RR(ej) is the PSD of PU signal.


Mathematically, we formulate the resource allocation
problem as maximizing the sum-rate of all CRUs subject to the
constraints of interference thresholds, total transmit power and
proportional rates among CRUs. The optimization problem can
be formulated as
OP1:
subject to

max
t
t

m ,k

, Rm ,k

t =1 kAt
M

m =1

mt ,k Rmt ,k

(6)

Rmt ,k = drm ,

(7)

m = 1,..., M

t
= 1 , k A t = 1,..., T

R
mt ,k 2

k At m =1

t
m ,k

/ f

U kt ,n

t
m,k

n
(9)

n S t t = 1,..., T
T

t
m,k

t =1 k A m =1

(2

Rmt ,k / f

) 1

t
m ,k

(10)

TPtotal

where Rtm,k and mt ,k = hmt ,k / N 0 f + t J nt ,m,k


nS

are the

transmission rate and the channel-to-interference and noise


ratio of the mth CRU in the kth subchannel respectively . At is
the set of the available subchannels and S t is the set of the
active PUs during time slot t. In (9), n denotes the
interference threshold level of the nth PU and the total
interference introduced by all CRUs to the nth PU, the left side
of (9), must be limited under this level. In (10), Ptotal is the total
transmit power per time slot.
III.

PROPOSED RESOURCE ALLOCATION ALGORITHM

l tm ,k = t R t , OP1 can be
By introducing a new variable R
m,k m ,k
converted into a convex optimization problem and the
Lagrangian is given by

L1 =
T M
M
T
l tm ,k + dr
l tm,k
R
R

m
m
t =1 m =1 kAt
m =1
t =1 kAt

+ kt mt ,k 1
t =1 kAt
m=1

(11)

T
M

Ut
lt
+ nt mt ,k 2 Rm ,k / f 1 tk ,n n
m ,k
t =1 nS t
m =1 kAt

T
lt
1
+ mt ,k 2 Rm ,k / f 1 t TPtotal
m ,k

t =1 kAt m=1

where m , kt , nt and are Lagrange multipliers for


t *

l m,k
constraints (7), (8) (9) and (10) respectively. Let mt ,*k and R
denote the optimal values. Using the Karush-Kuhn-Tucker
(KKT) conditions [7], the necessary and sufficient conditions
l tm*,k can be written as
for mt ,*k and R
T

Rl
t =1 kAt

t *
m,k

t*
m, k

drm = 0 ,

1 = 0 ,

m = 1,..., M

k At t = 1,..., T

(12)
(13)

m =1

t =1 m =1 k At

t
m, k

t
m, k

(8)

nt mt ,*k 2R
m=1 kAt

l tm*,k / t * f
m ,k

Ut
1 tk ,n n = 0 ,
m,k

n S t t = 1,..., T

(14)

This full text paper was peer reviewed at the direction of IEEE Communications Society subject matter experts for publication in the IEEE ICC 2011 proceedings

mt ,*k 2 R

l tm*,k / t * f
m ,k

t =1 kAt m =1

1
1 t TPtotal = 0
m ,k

> 0,
L1
= 0,
mt ,*k
< 0,

L1
t*

R m,k

mt ,*k = 0
0<mt ,*k < 1
mt ,*k = 1

OP2:

and

( x)

H
+

t
m,k

l tm*,k = 0
R

= L ln ( L

(17)

1
Ltm*,k t

m,k

k =1 ( Lm ,k )

Here,

(20)

t
t
nU k ,n + ln2
nS t

We can see that, with a given subchannel assignment


strategy, Ltm*,k varies with different subchannel k.
The conclusions above are the optimal values in time slot t,
however proportional rates among CRUs need to be maintained
during all T time slots and we can not predict the
instantaneous values of the power gains of CRUs and PUs
during the time slot after t. Therefore, we convert OP1 to OP2,
in which statistics of power gains are considered and OP2 is
the statistical form of OP1. In OP2, we drop superscript t in
OP1 since we only consider statistical proportional rate.
Furthermore, we assigne subchannels among CRUs using
strategy (18) and next we will calculate the probability that the
given subchannel is allocated to each CRU in this statistical
problem.

(23)

n = 1,..., N

1
Probm ,k Lm ,k

m ,k
m =1 k =1 ( Lm ,k )

pn f m ( hm ) dhm Ptotal (24)

Here,

( Lm,k ) =

N 0 f
N

Lm,k pa
n =1

d k ,n +f / 2

d k ,n f / 2

(25)

RR ( e j ) d

Probm ,k = Fj ( H j ,k (h j ) < H m ,k (hm ) )

(19)

level. The expression of Ltm*,k is given by


t
m

(22)

pnU k ,n f m ( hm ) dhm n

(1 + ) f

(21)

Probm,k f log 2 ( Lm, k m,k ) pn f m ( hm ) dhm = drm

1
Probm ,k Lm ,k

m =1 k =1 ( L )
m,k

m ,k
M

Equation (19) shows that the optimal power allocation


follows water-filling approach, and Ltm*,k is the optimal water

Ltm*,k =

Probm ,k f log 2 ( Lm ,k m,k ) pn f m ( hm ) dhm

(18)

The optimal power allocated to the kth subchannel of the mth


CRU is

1
= Ltm*, k t

m,k

( Lm ,k )

m = 1,..., M

 max ( 0, x ) .

t *
m,k

l tm*,k > 0
R

+
t
m,k

0,

= 0,

t*
m,k

subject to:

1, m = arg max H mt ,k
=
otherwise
0,

t*
m,k

{Lm ,k }

m =1 k =1

(16)

Differentiating the Lagrangian with respect to mt ,*k and


substituting the result into KKT conditions, we obtain the
optimal subchannel assignment strategy in time slot t
t *
m,k

max

(15)

j m

= Fj h j < H j ,1k ( H m ,k (hm ) )


j m

(26)

where Probm,k is the probability that the kth subchannel is


allocated to the mth CRU and pn is the probability that PU is not
active, which equals to 1-pa respectively.
Obviously, it is difficult to convert OP2 into convex
optimization problem. The duality gap of non-convex resource
allocation optimization problems in multicarrier systems is
nearly zero if the number of subcarriers is sufficiently large [8].
Thus, we can solve OP2 using dual methods. The Lagrange
dual function of OP2 is given as
g ( , , ) = max L2
{Lm ,k }D

({L } , , , )
m,k

(27)

where L2({Lm,k,,,}) is the Lagrangian of OP2 and m, n,


are the multipliers for constraints of proportional rates,
interference and total power constraints, respectively. These
multipliers m, n, are the same with the corresponding
Lagrange multipliers in OP1. In (27), D is a set of all nonnegative
Lm,k
which
is
defined
as
D = { Lm,k 0; m = 1,...M k = 1,..., K } .The dual optimization
problem is then formulated as

minimize g ( , , )
subject to

(28)

; 0, 0

The dual function can be decomposed into K independent


optimization problems. Substituting (19) and (20) into the dual

This full text paper was peer reviewed at the direction of IEEE Communications Society subject matter experts for publication in the IEEE ICC 2011 proceedings

optimization problem and searching over all M possible CRU


assignments for the kth subchannel, we obtain the dual function
g ( , , ) . Since g ( , , ) is always convex, the common
way to solve (28) is the gradient update method. In general,
g ( , , ) is not differentiable, thus the gradient may not exit.

So we use the subgradient update method to solve (28) and it is


easy to prove the following is a subgradient of g ( , , )
K

m =

k =1 ( L )
m ,k

Probm,k f log 2 ( Lm,k m,k ) pn f m ( hm ) dhm drm


m = 1,..., M

(29)

pnU k ,n f m ( hm ) dhm

n = 1,..., N

(30)

n = n

1
Probm,k Lm,k

m =1 k =1 ( L )
m,k

m ,k
M

= Ptotal

1
Probm,k Lm ,k

m,k
m =1 k =1 ( Lm ,k )

pn f m ( hm ) dhm

(31)

The proposed resource allocation algorithm based on the


subgradient method is outlined as follows
Proposed Resource Allocation Algorithm
and ( 0 ) ,

1)

Initialize: m ( 0 ) , n ( 0 )
m = 1,..., M and n = 1,..., N .

2)

For each subchannel k and CRU m, calculate Lm,k


and Probm,k using (20) and (26), and then calculate
the subgradient using (29)-(31).

3)

Update m , n and , for all m = 1,..., M and


n = 1,..., N in following way

for

all

m ( t + 1) = m ( t ) s m ( t )
n ( t + 1) = n ( t ) s n ( t )
( t + 1) = ( t ) s ( t )

Here, t is the iteration number and s is the update


step size.
4)

Back to 2) until convergence.

We can see that if step size and the last value of


subgrandient are small enough, , and can converge to a
small neighborhood around the optimal value * , * and * .
For each fixed value of , and , the proposed
algorithm requires O(KM) executions to calculate Lm,k and
Probm,k. It is assumed that subgradient update method can
converge in 1 iterations and Algorithm 2, the outer loop of

Algorithm 1, can converge in 2 iterations. Thus the total


complexity of the proposed algorithm is O(12KM), which is
only linear in the number of subchannels.
IV.

SIMULATION RESULTS

We consider the OFDMA-based CR systems with multiple


CRUs and N=8 PUs. The number of CRUs increases from 4 to
32 and by adding a group of 4 CRUs at a time. The channel
gains are assumed to be Rayleigh fading, and the PDF of the
mth CRU f m ( hm ) = e

hm
Em

/ Em and the corresponding CDF

h
m
Em

Fm ( hm ) = 1 e , in which Em is the average power gain of


the mth CRU. The total bandwidth W=20MHz and consists of
K=32 subchannels, each with a bandwidth of f =0.625MHz.
Each PUs bandwidth Wp=2.5MHz. The noise power is
1.8070 1014W , and the average power gains of four CRUs in
a group are 5.15910-14, 5.15210-14, 8.41210-14 and 5.150
10-14. The total transmit power Ptotal = 1W and the
interference
threshold
levels
of
eight
PUs
={0.025,0.05,0.025,0.025,0.05,0.025,0.025,0.025}W. It is
assumed that pa=0.5, rm=1 m=1,,M, and T=1000 time slots.
In Fig.1, we present the sum transmission rate of all CRUs
versus the number of CRUs M for the proposed algorithm in
CR systems and the resource allocation algorithm in [5],
referred to as Shen, which is designed for traditional OFDMA
systems. We can see that, in contrast to the algorithm in [5], the
proposed algorithm can achieve higher sum transmission rate
though interference is not considered in traditional OFDMA
systems. Fig.1 also shows that the sum transmission rate of the
proposed algorithm increases with M steadily. While the sum
transmission rate of the algorithm in [5] decreases with M
because as M increases, there are not enough subchannels to
support proportional rates among all CRUs.
We access fairness in the value of service share of all CRUs
using Fairness Index (FI) which is defined as
2
2
M
M
FI = m=1 ( Rm / rm ) / M m=1 ( Rm / rm ) . If all CRUs get

the same value of service share d, FI attains its maximum value


of 1, and the system is 100% fair. In Table I, we show the FI
versus the number of CRUs, M. From Table I, we can see that,
FI of the proposed algorithm is almost 1 in all cases, and FI of
the proposed algorithm is better than the algorithm in [5]. Fig.2
shows the normalized transmission rate distribution among
eight CRUs visually. We can see that, the transmission rate is
distributed very well among CRUs according to the
proportional rates set with the proposed resource allocation
algorithm. However, the algorithm in [5] can not guarantee
proportional rates among eight CRUs.

TABLE I.

FAIRNESS INDEX

12

16

20

24

28

32

proposed

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

Shen

0.83

0.93

0.99

0.98

0.90

0.73

0.64

0.56

This full text paper was peer reviewed at the direction of IEEE Communications Society subject matter experts for publication in the IEEE ICC 2011 proceedings

V.

CONCLUSION

In this paper, we proposed a resource allocation algorithm


using dual methods. The proposed algorithm considers the
time-varying nature of available subchannels in OFDMA-based
CR systems to maintain proportional rates among CRUs while
keeping the interference introduced to PUs under the specified
thresholds. In contrast to the resource allocation algorithm in
traditional OFDMA systems, the proposed algorithm can
provide statistical proportional rates among CRUs and achieve
higher sum transmission rate. In addition, the complexity of the
proposed algorithm is only linear in the number of subchannels.

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Figure 1. Sum transmission rate of CRUs versus the number of CRUs.

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[5]

[6]

[7]
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Figure 2. Normalized transmission rate distribution among M =8 CRUs.

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