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Journal of Computer Networks and Communications
Volume 2012, Article ID 748163, 17 pages
Research Article

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

1School of Engineering and Information Sciences, Middlesex University, Hendon, London NW4 4BT, UK
2Department of Computer Science, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana
3Mathematics and Computer Sciences Institute, University of Sao Paulo, 13566-590 Sao Carlos, SP, Brazil
4Department of Informatics, Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Sao Paulo, 14801-600 Araraquara, SP, Brazil
5Department of Information Systems, Santa Catarina State University, 89283-081 Sao Bento do Sul, SC, Brazil

Received 10 March 2012; Revised 7 June 2012; Accepted 8 June 2012

Academic Editor: Hoon Ko

Copyright © 2012 G. Mapp et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.