Cognition in a wireless communication context is often seen as `cognitive radio'. Cognitive radio is however limited to the idea of a physical layer that is cognitive with respect to the available radio spectrum and utilizesthe available spectrum accordingly.
Cognitive networks has also begun appearing as a more general concept regarding the whole network. In this project, the concept involves cognition in the protocol stack of mobile device. Cognition here is about, at any point, being aware of "what is going on around you" in the scope of a particular protocol, but even more in the scope of the whole stack and between individual devices. We call this concept the Cognitive Protocol Stack (CoPS).
Cognition is the awareness of flexibility in the protocol stack. Cross-layer design is a way of achieving this awareness by for example letting some cognition management middleware communicate directly with the different protocols at the layers of the protocol stack. Adaptivity is the ability to control the flexibility present in the protocol stack. Cross-layer design is employed to enable adaptation of various features in the stack from some cognition management middleware, thus putting the flexibility to use.
Mobile devices need to be cognitive regarding the flexibility of their own protocol stack as well as neighboring nodes in the network in order to exploit the flexibility among these nodes.