Model-Based Spectrum Management Part 1: Modeling and Computation Manual Version 2.0

January 2014
Dr. John A. Stine, The MITRE Corporation
Samuel Schmitz, The MITRE Corporation
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Radio frequency (RF) spectrum is a finite resource that is essential to many enterprises, including those of governments, militaries, businesses, and citizens. The broad utility of RF spectrum guarantees that demand for access will not wane and will probably increase continuously. Obtaining greater utility from spectrum would have universal benefits. However, current trends to achieve greater utility have focused on prioritizing uses to those considered most valuable or most effective, and thus obtaining the greatest benefits from a particular use of spectrum, rather than developing the means to use spectrum most efficiently, i.e., use the least amount of spectrum for a particular task.

An alternative means to obtaining greater utility from spectrum than converting spectrum between uses are to manage spectrum in a more agile way and to build systems that can respond to that agile management so that uses can share spectrum more effectively. This approach can enable greater broadband access without compromising the various government operational, security, and public safety functions that currently occupy much of the spectrum targeted for conversion. Further, this type of technology would mitigate many of the challenges confronted by the large users of spectrum such as the defense and intelligence communities.

Model-Based Spectrum Management (MBSM) is a new SM approach based on the creation and exchange of spectrum consumption models (SCMs). The SCMs capture not only the technical aspects of spectrum consumption but also such aspects as human judgment and the knowledge not present in mere datasets of system characteristics. The modeling approach provides computational methods to arbitrate the compatibility of SCM. The vision is that a standardized approach to modeling spectrum consumption and arbitrating compatibility would serve as a loose coupler among the systems that manage and use spectrum. This type of loose coupler would encourage the innovation in SM and RF system design that could enable the agile management and use sought. This modeling approach to SM can also yield benefits across SM communities:

  • In regulation, SCM can be used to define a user’s spectrum usage rights.
  • In commerce, SCMs can capture the quanta of spectrum traded.
  • In technology, SCMs convey spectrum assignments and spectrum policy to RF systems.
  • In operations, SCMs increase reuse by enabling dynamic and flexible management.

An effective spectrum consumption modeling approach achieves three objectives:

  1. It provides constructs for capturing the many facets of spectrum use within models.
  2. It provides well-defined, tractable, and efficient methods for computing the compatibility of modeled uses.
  3. It provides a means to use the models to convey both the consumption and the availability of spectrum.

This manual defines a modeling approach that can achieve these three objectives. It defines a set of 12 constructs, describes how they are used to capture spectrum consumption, and describes computation of compatibility among models. It also discusses how to combine models to convey system and enterprise use of spectrum, how models convey spectrum availability, and how to use models to convey policy to dynamic spectrum access systems.

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