By harvesting energy from ambient radio frequency (RF) signals, significant progress has been achieved in wireless networks self-maintaining their life cycles. Motivated by this and improved spectrum reuse by combined use of overlay/underlay modes of cognitive radio networks (CRNs), this paper proposes a novel multi-channel (m-channel) allocation performance maximization algorithm for low-power mobiles. CRNs, called secondary transmitters (STs), can harvest energy from RF signals by nearby active primary transmitters (PTs). In the proposed scheme, PTs and STs are distributed as independent homogeneous Poisson point processes and contact their receivers at fixed distances. Each PT contains a guard zone to protect its intended receiver from ST interference, and provides RF energy to STs located in its harvesting zone. Prioritization of STs during opportunistic allocation of channels is critical as properties like energy level and harvesting capability improve channel distribution performance. A novel metric is proposed that prioritizes STs based on initial energy levels, harvesting capability, and number of channels through which they can transmit. For comparison, three algorithms were considered: a greedy mechanism for m-channel allocation of hybrid CRNs without harvesting, the proposed m-channel allocation schemes based on maximum independent sets (MIS), and the proposed metric of hybrid CRNs with harvesting capability. The simulations show that the proposed m-channel allocation method based on MIS outperforms the greedy algorithm. The proposed m-channel allocation using the proposed metric on hybrid CRNs with energy harvesting ability produced the best performance of the three methods, proving the superiority of the proposed algorithm.
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