SpecGuard: Spectrum Misuse Detection in Dynamic Spectrum Access Systems

Xiaocong Jin, Jingchao Sun, Rui Zhang, Yanchao Zhang, Chi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Dynamic spectrum access (DSA) is the key to solving worldwide spectrum shortage. The open wireless medium subjects DSA systems to unauthorized spectrum use by illegitimate users. Secondary-user authentication is thus critical to ensure the proper operations of DSA systems. This paper presents SpecGuard, the first crowdsourced spectrum misuse detection framework for DSA systems. In SpecGuard, a transmitter is required to embed a spectrum permit into its physical-layer signals, which can be decoded and verified by ubiquitous mobile users. We propose three novel schemes for embedding and detecting a spectrum permit at the physical layer. The first scheme relies on a higher transmission power to embed the spectrum permit. To alleviate the assumptions on the additional transmission power, the second scheme is proposed with a limited negative impact on the normal data transmission. The third scheme takes a different approach by adopting a novel constellation design and exploiting the trust between the transmitter and the receiver. Crowdsourced spectrum misuse detection eliminates the need for the deployment of dedicated sensors and thus greatly reduces the deployment and maintenance cost. Detailed theoretical analyses, MATLAB simulations, and USRP experiments confirm that our schemes can achieve correct, low-intrusive, and fast spectrum misuse detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8331926
Pages (from-to)2925-2938
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Dynamic spectrum access
  • security
  • spectrum misuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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