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In this paper, we consider the joint optimal sensing
and distributed MAC protocol design for cognitive radio
networks. Specifically, we design a synchronized MAC protocol
for dynamic spectrum sharing among multiple secondary
users, which incorporates spectrum sensing for protecting active
primary users. We perform saturation throughput analysis for
the proposed MAC protocol that explicitly captures spectrum
sensing performance. Then, we find its optimal configuration
by formulating a throughput maximization problem subject to
detection probability constraints for primary users. In particular,
the optimal solution of this optimization problem returns the
required sensing time for primary users’ protection and optimal
contention window for maximizing total throughput of the
secondary network. Finally, numerical results are presented to
illustrate a significant performance gain of the optimal sensing
and protocol configuration.
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