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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 1 (2005), Issue 4, Pages 275-307

Supporting User Mobility through Cache Relocation

Kwong Yuen Lai, Zahir Tari, and Peter Bertok

RMIT University, School of Computer Science and Information Technology, GPO Box 3476V, Melbourne, Australia

Received 25 November 2005; Accepted 25 November 2005

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Traffic and access delay can be reduced in a mobile network by caching data objects at network nodes near the clients. Traditional caching techniques, however, are unsuitable in this environment because they do not account for the changing location of the users. To deal with this problem, cache relocation techniques can be applied to dynamically relocate data objects so they remain close to the moving clients. Existing relocation techniques rely heavily on path prediction. Unfortunately, the inaccuracy of path prediction can lead to high relocation overhead and poor response time. This paper presents an analytical study of the effects of client mobility on network cache performance. Two new cache relocation techniques are proposed to deal with the issue of poor path prediction and reduce the overhead of existing cache relocation schemes. The first technique, 2PR, compensates for poor path prediction by temporarily moving data objects to a common parent node prior to a handover. Objects are moved to the correct destination once the client's new location has been confirmed. The second technique, ROLP, reduces the traffic overhead associated with cache relocation by ensuring duplicate objects are not relocated and relocation of objects are performed only from the nearest node to the destination. Test results show that 2PR reduces the query delay experienced by mobile clients by 60 to 83% after handovers, while ROLP reduces the overhead of cache relocation by between 33 to 65% compared to existing schemes.