In a cognitive radio network (CRN), two nodes have a rendezvous when they tune to the same channel simultaneously. Providing rendezvous guarantee between any pair of nodes is essential because a rendezvous is necessary for communication. Some existing works claim that rendezvous guarantee can be provided by using a dedicated common control channel to negotiate the channel being used. A serious problem of these mechanisms is that there may not exist a globally available channel. Some channel hopping protocols try to provide rendezvous guarantee without using a common control channel. However, these solutions may suffer from a poor number of rendezvous or uneven channel utilization.
In this paper, we propose a novel distributed channel hopping protocol, Quorum and Latin square Channel Hopping (QLCH). The QLCH scheme efficiently provides rendezvous guarantee by utilizing the concept of quorum systems and latin squares. The former is utilized to guarantee balanced rendezvous among nodes while the latter is adopted to share the rendezvous among channels. QLCH efficiently provides fast rendezvous guarantee and can also cooperate with other channel hopping protocols to enhance network throughput. Analytical and simulation results verify the improvement of QLCH. For example, when there are 30 flows using 11 channels in a CRN, the achieved time to rendezvous of QLCH is 9.84 times lower than that of the existing protocol SYNC-ETCH while the achieved network throughput of QLCH is 362% higher than that of the existing protocol L-QCH.