Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Anchor Free IP Mobility

Al-Khalidi, M and Thomos, N and Reed, MJ and Al-Naday, MF and Trossen, D (2018) Anchor Free IP Mobility. IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, 18 (1). pp. 56-69. ISSN 1536-1233


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Efficient mobility management techniques are critical in providing seamless connectivity and session continuity between a mobile node and the network during its movement. However, current mobility management solutions generally require a central entity in the network core, tracking IP address movement, and anchoring traffic from source to destination through point-to-point tunnels. Intuitively, this approach suffers from scalability limitations as it creates bottlenecks in the network, due to sub-optimal routing via the anchor point. This is often termed 'dog-leg' routing. Meanwhile, alternative anchorless, solutions are not feasible due to the current limitations of the IP semantics, which strongly tie addressing information to location. In contrast, this paper introduces a novel anchorless mobility solution that overcomes these limitations by exploiting a new path-based forwarding fabric together with emerging mechanisms from information-centric networking. These mechanisms decouple the end-system IP address from the path based data forwarding to eliminate the need for anchoring traffic through the network core; thereby, allowing flexible path calculation and service provisioning. Furthermore, by eliminating the limitation of routing via the anchor point, our approach reduces the network cost compared to anchored solutions through bandwidth saving while maintaining comparable handover delay. The proposed solution is applicable to both cellular and large-scale wireless LAN networks that aim to support seamless handover in a single operator domain scenario. The solution is modeled as a Markov-chain which applies a topological basis to describe mobility. The validity of the proposed Markovian model was verified through simulation of both random walk mobility on random geometric networks and trace information from a large-scale, city wide data set. Evaluation results illustrate a significant reduction in the total network traffic cost by 45 percent or more when using the proposed solution, compared to Proxy Mobile IPv6.

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