A Comparison between the Centralized and Distributed Approaches for Spectrum Management

Gbenga Salami, Olasunkanmi Durowoju, Alireza Attar, Oliver Holland, Abdol-Hamid Aghvami, Rahim Tafazolli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing demand for spectrum to accommodate future wireless services and applications. Given the rigidity of current allocations, several spectrum occupancy studies have indicated a low utilization over both space and time. Hence, to satisfy the demands of applications it can be inferred that dynamic spectrum usage is a required necessity. Centralized Dynamic Spectrum Allocation (DSA) and Distributed Dynamic Spectrum Selection (DSS) are two paradigms that aim to address this problem, whereby we use DSS ( distributed) as an umbrella term for a range of terminologies for decentralized access, such as Opportunistic Spectrum Access and Dynamic Spectrum Access. This paper presents a survey on these methods, whereby we introduce, discuss, and classify several proposed architectures, techniques and solutions. Corresponding challenges from a technical point of view are also investigated, as are some of the remaining open issues. The final and perhaps most significant contribution of this work is to provide a baseline for systematically comparing the two approaches, revealing the pros and cons of DSA ( centralized) and DSS ( distributed) as methods of realizing spectrum sharing.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)274 - 290
Number of pages17
JournalIeee Communications Surveys And Tutorials
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


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