Adaptive Terminal Middleware for Seamless Session Mobility


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E86-D   No.11   pp.2343-2351
Publication Date: 2003/11/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on New Technologies in the Internet and their Applications)
terminal middleware,  session mobility,  virtual socket,  vertical handoff,  service mobility,  

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Various network resources, including wireless access services and multimedia appliances (device) are expected to be available in ubiquitous computing environments. Since resource availability can change when a user migrates from one place to another, functions to monitor the availability of resources in use and, if necessary, switch from obsolete resources to new ones are necessary for continuous service provision. This paper proposes adaptive terminal middleware called AMID that performs policy-based dynamic resource selection and host-based session management to ease network administrative tasks, and hide session failures and resource changes from applications and a user. AMID supports two kinds of mobility; session maintenance on vertical handoff and device handoff (service mobility). By AMID, a mobile host keeps entire handoff control and session state to eliminate the need for network-layer or intermediate-node mobility support, and mitigate responsibility of devices for session management. AMID realizes a Reliable Virtual Socket (RVS), on top of real sockets, which employs a seamless session handoff mechanism for resource changes, and a reliable session resume mechanism against unplanned disconnection of a wireless link. It achieves seamless session handoff through a proactive soft handoff method; to conceal setup and signaling latency, it initiates setup procedures with neighbor resources in advance of actual handoff and utilizes multiple wireless interfaces and devices redundantly. We implemented AMID and a follow-me audio application on top of it to evaluate the performance. Redirection of audio streams from built-in speakers to external ones, and handoff between 802.11b and Cellular are autonomously performed when a user migrates in the house. We confirmed that AMID achieved reliable session maintenance against wireless link failure, concealed latency of handoff management, and prevented packet loss during handoff.