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SenseLess: A Database-Driven White Spaces Network

Rohan Murty, Ranveer Chandra, Thomas Moscibroda, and Paramvir Bahl


The 2010 FCC ruling on white spaces proposes relying on a database of incumbents as the primary means of determining white space availability at any white space device (WSD). While the ruling provides broad guidelines for the database, the specifics of its design, features, implementation, and use are yet to be determined. Furthermore, architecting a network where all WSDs rely on the database raises several systems and networking challenges that have remained unexplored. Also, the ruling treats the database only as a storehouse for incumbents. We believe that the mandated use of the database has an additional opportunity: a means to dynamically manage the RF spectrum. Motivated by this opportunity, in this paper, we present SenseLess, a database-driven white spaces network. As suggested by its very name, in SenseLess, WSDs rely on a database service to determine white spaces availability as opposed to spectrum sensing. The service, using a combination of an up-to-date database of incumbents, sophisticated signal propagation modeling, and an efficient content dissemination mechanism to ensure efficient, scalable, and safe white space network operation. We build, deploy, and evaluate SenseLess and compare our results to ground truth spectrum measurements. We present the unique system design considerations that arise due to operating over the white spaces. We also evaluate its efficiency and scalability. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that identifies and examines the systems and networking challenges that arise from operating a white space network, which is solely dependent on a channel occupancy database.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inIEEE/ACM Transactions of Mobile Computing
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