Enhancing Access to Radio Spectrum for Real-Time Monitoring and Control

Future trends toward intelligent infrastructure systems, such as the smart grid, intelligent transportation systems, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and environmental monitoring systems, give rise to the need for reliable communications for real-time monitoring and control  (RTMC) operations. Wireless networking is a promising technology for meeting these requirements, however, existing spectrum allocations are not likely to suffice. The proposed work will draw on a variety of disciplines including wireless networking and economics to study the use of shared spectrum as a way to meet the spectrum demands of these emerging systems.

Specific themes that will be addressed in this work include:

  • Service modeling for RTMC applications: The service required by monitoring and control applications include requirements on latency, reliability, and throughput. In this task we seek to develop service models that can be used to capture essential Quality of Service (QoS) requirements, yet can be used to design resource allocation schemes.  Some key questions along these lines include: How should QoS requirements be modeled? How do these requirements map to the underlying wireless network? How do these requirements account for economic considerations?
  • Spectrum Pooling and Robust Designs: The use of shared spectrum makes the network vulnerable to interruptions due to a primary user reclaiming its spectrum.  In this task we seek to develop mechanisms for providing dependable service by pooling bands of shared and dedicated spectrum.   Some key questions that we seek to answer include:  What are suitable models for reliability in shared spectrum networks?  What is the tradeoff between reliability and amount of shared/dedicated spectrum?  What is the right combination of dedicated and share spectrum to meet service requirements? 
  • Market Structures for RTMC Applications: In this task we turn to studying markets for bands of shared spectrum that could enable RTMC applications to acquire a pool of spectrum that satisfies their service requirements. Key questions include: How would RTMC applications value bundles of spectrum? How should markets for these bundles be structured? How do market structures impact the allocation of spectrum between RTMC and competing applications?



PIs:  Randall Berry, Northwestern University, Eytan Modiano, MIT


  1. Thomas Stahlbuhk, Brooke Shrader, Eytan Modiano, “Throughput Maximization in Uncooperative Spectrum Sharing Networks,”  IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, Barcelona, Spain, July 2016.
  2. Qingkai Liang, H.W. Lee, Eytan Modiano, “Robust Design of Spectrum-Sharing Networks,” IEEE Wiopt, Tempe, Arizona, May, 2016