Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

Committee Director

Hussein Abdel-Wahab

Committee Member

Kurt Maly

Committee Member

Christian Wild

Committee Member

Larry Wilson

Committee Member

Frederic McKenzie


Host mobility creates a routing problem in the Internet, where an IP address reflects the network's point of attachment. Mobile IP, relying on a mapping between a home address and a care-of address, and a home registration process, is widely accepted as a solution for the host mobility problem in wide-area mobility scenarios. However, its home registration requirement, upon each change of point of attachment, makes it unsuitable to handle local-area mobility, resulting in large handoff latencies, increased packet loss, and disrupted services. In this dissertation, we introduce a local-area mobility support framework for IPv4 based on the deployment of multiple cooperating mobility agents hierarchies in the foreign domain. First, we introduce a hierarchy model offering a backward compatible mode to service legacy mobile hosts, unaware of local-area mobility extensions. Second, for intra-hierarchy handoffs, we identify several design deficiencies within the current Mobile IP hierarchy extension proposal, and present an enhanced regional registration framework for local handoffs that encompasses a replay protection identification value dissemination mechanism. In addition, we present two novel registration frameworks for home registrations involving local handoffs, in which we identify the dual nature of such registrations, and attempt to emphasize the local handoff aspect. One technique, maintains tunneling of data packets to the MH (Mobile Host) through an old path until a home registration reply is received to set up the new path. In contrast, the other technique adopts a more proactive bold approach in switching immediately to the new path resulting in a reduction of the handoff latency. Third, for inter-hierarchy handoffs, we present a scalable, configurable, and cooperation based framework between mobility agents hierarchies to reduce the handoffs latencies. An attempt is made to exploit the expected network proximity between hierarchies within the foreign domain, and maintain a mobile host's home-registered care-of address unchanged while within the same foreign domain. In addition, the involved registration signaling design requires a reduced number of security associations between mobility agents belonging to different hierarchies, and copes with the fact that the mobile host's home-registered care-of address might not be reachable.


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