In this work we evaluate the efficiency of cooperative spectrum sensing to support cognitive radio operation, when sensing is assigned to the cognitive users, randomly located in the area of a primary network. We derive analytic expressions for sensing performance based on the traditional metrics of missed detection and false alarm probabilities, and show the existence of an optimal cooperation range. False alarm and missed detection probabilities, however, do not directly lead to performance degradation in the primary and low utilization in the cognitive system. We propose an interference model taking the cognitive access into account and optimize the sensing parameters in order to maximize the cognitive network capacity while satisfying the primary network interference constraints.
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