Exploiting Location and Contextual Information to Develop a Comprehensive Framework for Proactive Handover in Heterogeneous Environments

The development and deployment of several wireless and cellular networks mean that users will demand to be always connected as they move around. Mobile nodes will therefore have several interfaces and connections will be seamlessly switched among available networks using vertical handover techniques. Proactive handover mechanisms can be combined with the deployment of a number of location-based systems that provide location information to a very high degree of accuracy in different contexts. Furthermore, this new environment will also allow contextual information such as user profiles as well as the availability of using location and contextual information to provide efficient handover mechanisms. Using location-based techniques, it is possible to demonstrate that the Time Before Vertical Handover as well as the Network Dwell Time can be accurately estimated. These techniques are dependent on accurately estimating the handover radius. This paper investigates how location and context awareness can be used to estimate the best handover radius. The paper also explores how such techniques may be integrated into the Y-Comm architecture which is being used to explore the development of future mobile networks. Finally, the paper highlights the use of ontological techniques as a mechanism for specifying and prototyping such systems. [Read More]