From Blindness to Foraging to Sensing to Sociality: an Evolutionary Perspective on Cognitive Radio Networks

Anna Wisniewska, Mohammad Abu Shattal, Bilal Khan, Ala Al-Fuqaha, Kirk Dombrowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Wireless communication is an increasingly important aspect of the digital ecosystem. The Internet of Things reached 4+ billion devices in 2014, and is expected to exceed 25 billion by 2020. In this paper, we formalize the notion of evolutionary pressures in Cognitive Radio (CR) societies, and show how it can be expected to drive the emergence of more advanced sensing capabilities, and correspondingly more sophisticated models of resource sharing. We put forth four evolutionary stages for CR societies, based on well-established biological analogs, and demonstrate that at each stage of CR evolution, a subpopulation that is able to engage more advanced sensing capabilities and co-use strategies is able to better extract greater utility from spectrum resources. In this manner, we see that each stage of CR evolution prepares the way for the next: the present societies of non-foragers facilitate the emergence of foragers; foragers give way to contention-sensing rational CR societies; these, in turn, will likely facilitate the emergence of sociality. We find this progression to depend crucially in population size, and to be robust to consideration of primary user activity. We use a sensitivity analysis to isolate salient factors most likely to accelerate or inhibit the anticipated natural evolutionary trajectory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1902-1914
Number of pages13
JournalMobile Networks and Applications
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Behavioral-ecological networks
  • Cognitive radio networks
  • Dynamic spectrum access
  • Internet of things
  • Self-coexsitence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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