An overview of policy-based spectrum management for EM systems
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It has been predicted that many future military radio communication nodes, as well as many other EM spectrum consuming systems, to an increasing degree will make fast, local decisions about their use of the spectrum. This is in contrast to today’s situation in military operations, where authorizations to use dedicated spectrum intervals typically come in the form of longer-duration spectrum assignments e.g. from the Theatre Frequency Management Cell. With local, distributed decisions, from a military perspective there is still, however, a need to maintain administrative control of the spectrum resources, and also a need to de-conflict different uses of the spectrum. Policy-based management, where the policies are targets and constraints for a system, provide a way to have such administrative control while still having the benefit of fast, local decisions. The first part of this paper provides an overview of the research status of policy managed spectrum access, both as regards civilian initiatives and standardization efforts and also military projects and efforts. An overview of the remaining challenges in this area is also provided. For the military domain, to a large degree it is developmental and standardization efforts that are needed, e.g. tailored software tools and a standardization of policy language. The computation of opportunities allowed by the policies that apply for particular nodes and regions remains a hard problem where further research is advantageous. A way around this in order to deploy practical solutions is to carefully limit the complexity of the policies. The second part of the paper presents a case study where an ontology (computable conceptual model) for policy-based spectrum management is created and formalized in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) and augmented with policy rules in the SWRL extension. Based on a small population of spectrum availability instances, reasoning is performed and lead times logged in order to evaluate the feasibility of the approach.