Feature-Based Deep Neural Networks for Short-Term Prediction of WiFi Channel Occupancy Rate

Spectrum occupancy prediction is a key enabling technology to facilitate a proactive resource allocation for dynamic spectrum management systems. This work focuses on the prediction of duty cycle (DC) metric that reflects spectrum usage (in the time domain). The spectrum usage is typically measured on a shorter time scale than needed for prediction. Hence, data thinning is required and we apply block averaging. However, averaging operation results in flattening the DC data and losing essential features to assist deep neural network (DNN) to predict the spectrum usage. To improve DC prediction after block averaging, a feature-based deep learning framework is proposed. Namely, long short-term memory (LSTM) and gated recurrent unit (GRU) are selected and enhanced by using features of the data, such as the variance of DC data in addition to DC data themself. The proposed model is capable of proactively predicting the spectrum usage by capturing complex relationships among various input features for the measured spectrum, thus providing higher prediction accuracy with an average improvement of 5% in RMSE compared with traditional models. Moreover, to have a better understanding of the proposed model, we quantify the effect of input features on the predicted spectrum usage values. Based on the most significant input features, a simpler and more efficient model is proposed to estimate DC with similar accuracy to when using all features.