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Aspects of Global Mobility Management for Next Generation Networks

posted Nov 12, 2018, 11:51 AM by Rute Sofia   [ updated Sep 22, 2020, 2:11 PM ]
July 2020: new book, Rute C. Sofia, Global Mobility Management for Next Generation Networks, Cambridge Scholars, June 1st 2020. ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-4848-0

(Nov 2018)
Handling mobility management in the Internet is not trivial, given the heterogeneity of devices involved; providers involved; service requirements. The Internet evolution requires re-thinking mobility management and to understand how to best distribute functionality across the network. The data transmission itself needs to take into consideration mobility, and to dynamically adjust to human movement, as next generation networks are information-centric, and user-centric.

During the last decades, several mobility management approaches have been design and validated, and are today operationally available. In the context of distributed mobile edge computing, mobility management architectures can be addressed in a novel way integrating functions such as mobility prediction and learning. For that purpose, there are a few topics that are relevant to be revisited, as explained next.

1. Mobility management functional splitting
The different approaches available today in multi-access heterogeneous networks, across different TCP/IP stack layers, which have been extensively worked upon in the context of the IETF are evolving towards decentralized mobility management. In this process, it is relevant to understand the limitations that current solutions face in next generation networks. It is also relevant to understand which functional blocks compose mobility management architectures, independently of the layer where such solutions reside.

2. From centralized to decentralized mobility management
Moving from centralized to distributed mobility management architectures can be designed in a way that is "closer" to the Internet end-user. Understanding how and where to position the different blocks that compose mobility management imply analyzing how to best decouple mobility management functionality.

3. Mobility modelling and anticipation
Moreover, in dynamic environments (which today are the basis of the Internet fringes), human interaction and computational models that can estimate aspects related with such interaction (e.g., frequency of visits to networks; roaming habits) can be provided via mobility estimation mechanisms. Mobility estimation is therefore a required mobility management function, still missing in today's architectures. Adding such mechanisms to mobility management architectures, centralized or decentralized, is beneficial.

4. Moving towards content-centric mobility management architectures
A more adequate distribution of mobility management requires a move towards a data-centric mobility management perspective. Today, mobility management solutions are focused on mobility management of devices, and this aspect is particularly challenging, due to the inherent addressing schemes, among other aspects. Simultaneous mobility of source and destination devices is an aspect that is not trivial to address. Still, analysing mobility management support from an information-centric perspective, instead of from a host reachability perspective, is relevant in the quest for mobility management that can support future Internet paradigms, where all devices are highly mobile.

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