One major concern for mobile networks consists of finding efficient ways of handling user mobility so that the handover process has minimum effect on users' ongoing sessions. Given the dominance of Internet-based applications in next-generation mobile networks, Mobile IP (MIP) has become an important protocol for accommodating the IP mobility. To overcome the excessive delay and signaling involved in the first version of MIP, the Hierarchical Mobile IPv6 (HMIPv6) protocol has been introduced. The key concept behind HMIPv6 is to locally handle handovers by the usage of an entity called mobility anchor point (MAP). Although the new protocol provides a more efficient way for mobility management in IP networks, it does not control traffic among multiple MAPs in the network. Thus, in many cases, the selected MAP is overloaded, and extensive delays are experienced during the routing process. To tackle this problem, this paper proposes a new technique, i.e., dynamic efficient MAP selection (DEMAPS). The proposed scheme works similar to HMIPv6 when the network is not overloaded. When the network gets heavy loads, the selection of MAPs is based on an estimation of MAP load transition using the exponential moving average method. Simulation results demonstrate that DEMAPS can efficiently balance the signaling traffic load among MAPs and provides a superior network performance compared with traditional HMIP schemes.
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