Dynamic spectrum access (DSA) is a new spectrum sharing method that allows secondary users (SUs) to opportunistically access underutilized spectrum bands that were licensed to incumbent users (IUs). It has the potential to dramatically improve the spectrum utilization efficiency and significantly boost the capacity of wireless communications. However, DSA gives rise to many new operation privacy issues because the existing designs require IUs and SUs to provide their sensitive operation data to untrusted third parties. Yet, for many government IUs, their operation data are classified. SUs' operation data may also be commercial secret for their operator. While some pioneering existing works have considered privacy protections, these works fail to consider the significant negative impact of their schemes on the efficiency and capacity of DSA systems. Thus, regulators and potential SU/IU operators often are unwilling to adopt DSA before the spectrum efficiency, capacity and operation privacy issues can be jointly addressed. The goal of this project is to solve the above challenges by providing a joint study of efficiency, capacity and privacy for a comprehensive range of possible DSA system designs. This project will provide solutions for addressing operation privacy concerns of DSA systems without sacrificing spectrum allocation efficiency and system capacity. This project can greatly promote the adoption of DSA technologies and hence enhance the capacity of the entire nation's wireless broadband networks. Supporting of underrepresented group is also integrated in this project effort.

Broader Impact

A better allocation and management of spectrum is clearly the only viable solution for overcoming the severe spectrum shortage problem. Thus, federal and commercial systems must share their spectrum using DSA in the coming decade. However, such systems give rise to many new spectrum assurance and privacy issues. Thus, regulators and potential SU/IU operators will not be willing to adopt such a flexible sharing of the radio spectrum unless these issues are adequately addressed. Research results from this project will provide valuable solutions for addressing such concerns and hence greatly help the development of the entire nation's broadband networks.

The developed techniques will provide a blueprint on how privacy-preserving mechanisms can be integrated in many other communication systems beyond DSA. Resource allocation is an important area for networking system design. Our work marks an important step in bringing privacy-preserving designs into this domain. Beyond spectrum allocation, it can potentially spark privacy-preserving designs for computation resource allocation, storage resource allocation, task allocation, power allocation, work load allocation, and other type of common resource allocation problems in networking systems.

Some of us are members of minority groups ourselves and we are committed to providing academic training for under-represented groups and hiring female scientists in engineering and business fields. The project will also tightly integrate research with education.

Major Personnel

  1. Yaling Yang (faculty, Virginia Tech)
  2. Xiaojiang Du(faculty, Temple University)
  3. Jie Wu (faculty, Temple University)
  4. He Li (Ph.D., VT)
  5. Yousi Lin (Ph.D., VT)
  6. Hanchao Yang (Ph.D., VT)
  7. Xiang Cheng (Ph.D.. VT)
  8. Rajorsh Biswas (PhD student, Temple)
  9. Wancai Yu (PhD student, Temple)
  10. Yuxian Ye (MS, VT, Alumni)
  11. Douglas Zabransky (MS, VT, Alumni)
  12. Chang Lu, (MS, VT, Alumni)

Intellectual Activities

This project has two thrusts. Thrust 1 studies the efficient and secure spectrum allocation in centralized DSA designs, while thrust 2 studies the same issue for distributed DSA. For centralized DSA, both the central entity SAS and end users are considered to be potentially compromised. With these assumptions, the privacy and security threats in each types of centralized designs are thoroughly studied individually. New schemes are being designed to address these threats for each types of centralized DSA design with joint considerations on both spectrum allocation efficiency and system capacity. For distributed DSA, the information exchanged among the users may inadvertently reveal sensitive information of these users to untrusted other users or expose the system to threats of cheating where some users may lie in information exchange. This project is exploring approaches to solve these issues. We are focusing on making sure our solution will not hurt the efficiency of the distributed system design while protecting the privacy and trustworthiness of the information exchange.



    1. Chi, Kuo and Du, Xiaojiang and Yin, Guisheng and Wu, Jie and Guizani, Mohsen and Han, Qilong and Yang, Yaling. (2020). Efficient and fair Wi-Fi and LTE-U coexistence via communications over content centric networking. Future Generation Computer Systems. 112 (C) 297 to 306. doi:10.1016/j.future.2020.05.026
    2. Biswas, Rajorshi and Wu, Jie and Du, Xiaojiang and Yang, Yaling. (2020). Mitigation of the spectrum sensing data falsifying attack in cognitive radio networks. Cyber-Physical Systems. 1 to 20. doi:10.1080/23335777.2020.1811387
    3. Biswas, Rajorshi and Wu, Jie. (2020). Minimizing The Number of Channel Switches of Mobile Users in Cognitive Radio Ad-Hoc Networks. Journal of Sensor and Actuator Networks. 9 (2) 23. doi:10.3390/jsan9020023
    4. Wang, Qian and Du, Xiaojiang and Gao, Zhipeng and Guizani, Mohsen. (2019). An Optimal Channel Occupation Time Adjustment Method for LBE in Unlicensed Spectrum. IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology. 68 (11) 10943 to 10955. doi:10.1109/TVT.2019.2940123
    5. Lin, Yousi and Ye, Yuxian and Yang, Yaling. (2019). Crowdsourcing-based Spectrum Monitoring at A Large Geographical Scale. 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks (DySPAN). doi:10.1109/DySPAN.2019.8935832
    6. Lin, Yousi and Ye, Yuxian and Yang, Yaling. (2019). Preserving Incumbent Userís Location Privacy Against Environmental Sensing Capability. 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks (DySPAN). 1 to 10. doi:10.1109/DySPAN.2019.8935713
    7. Su, Yuhan and Lu, Xiaozhen and Huang, Lianfen and Du, Xiaojiang and Guizani, Mohsen. (2019). A Novel DCT-Based Compression Scheme for 5G Vehicular Networks. IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology. 68 (11) 10872 to 10881. doi:10.1109/TVT.2019.2939619
    8. Li, He and Yang, Yaling and Dou, Yanzhi and Park, Jung-Min Jerry and Ren, Kui. (2019). PeDSS: Privacy Enhanced and Database-Driven Dynamic spectrum Sharing. IEEE Conference on Computer Communications. 1477 to 1485. doi:10.1109/INFOCOM.2019.8737630
    9. He Li, Yaling Yang, Yanzhi Dou, Chang Lu, and Doug Zabransky, "Comparison of incumbent user privacy preserving technologies in database driven dynamic spectrum access systems'', Crowncom, 2018
    10. Douglas Zabransky, He Li, Chang Lu, Yaling Yang,"SZ-SAS: A Framework for Preserving Incumbent User Privacy in SAS-based DSA Systems'', Crowncom, 2018
    11. He Li, Yanzhi Dou, Chang Lu, Doug Zabransky, Yaling Yang, Jung-min Park, "Preserving the Incumbent Users' Location Privacy in the 3.5 GHz Band'', DySPAN, 2018


    The Virginia Tech side has attended Dyspan 2018, crowncom 2018, Infocom 2019, Dyspan 2019 to present or discuss research results from this project in these conferences. All three conferences have large number of attendance from the dynamic spectrum access community, especially Dyspan and Crowncom, which are the top conferences whose major audiences are from the dynamic spectrum access community.

    The Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Temple University has a very active colloquium serial that invites 20+ researchers every year from other institutions. We present our research results to the colloquium speakers, and make our results available to the broader research community.


    At Temple University, our research results have been presented at "CIS 4319 Computer Networks and Communications'' which is offered every spring semester, and "CIS 3319 Wireless Networks and Security'', which is offered every fall semester. Also, several NSF REU site and REU supplement students at Temple University were involved in some parts of this research in summer 2018, fall 2018, and spring 2019.

    At Virginia Tech, two Ph.D. student (He Li and Yousi) passed their preliminary exams and one M.S. student (Yuxian Ye) successfully graduated. Major part of their preliminary reports/thesis works were supported by this project. The project provided them the necessary financial support for both their theoretical study and field experiment. Among the students that are supported by this project, two of them (one Ph.D. (Yousi Lin), one MS (Yuxian Ye)) are female students. Yuxian Ye, the female MS student, successfully graduated with her MS degree based on works in this project in spring 2019.