Blind matchmaking for more efficient wireless networks

A network management scheme developed by KAUST allows users from different network providers to pair up to make better use of the available wireless spectrum although the two users know little about each other.

Wireless networks are groaning under the strain of an ever-increasing number of mobile devices and data-hungry applications, such as video streaming. This means network engineers are searching for alternative methods to utilize the available wireless bandwidth. Although wireless technology is improving all the time, a significant source of inefficiency persists in the way that telecommunication companies divide up the wireless spectrum—the range of radio frequencies available for wireless communications.

Dr. Doha Hamza and Jeff Shamma, Professor of Electrical Engineering, have developed a way for strangers to pair up to make better use of the available bandwidth.

"Cognitive radio technology, as we call it, is a promising approach to solve the wireless spectrum scarcity problem,” explained Hamza. “This technology allows secondary unlicensed users to access the primary licensed users' frequency bands. To make this possible, the primary and secondary users need to be robustly paired in a way that ensures mutual benefit while maintaining quality-of-service constraints.”

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