Report Number: CSL-TR-97-735
Institution: Stanford University, Computer Systems Laboratory
Title: Flexible Connectivity Management for Mobile Hosts
Author: Z hao, Xinhua
Author: Baker, Mary G.
Date: september 1997
Abstract: Powerful light-weight portable computers, the availability of wireless networks, and the popularity of the Internet are driving the need for better networking support for mobile hosts. Users should be able to connect their portable computers to the Internet at any time and in any place, but the dynamic nature of such connectivity requires more flexible network management than has typically been available for stationary workstations. This report proposes techniques to address a unique feature of connectivity management on mobile hosts: its multiplicity, i.e. the need to support multiple packet delivery methods simultaneously and to support the use of multiple network devices for both availability and efficiency reasons. We have developed a set of techniques in the context of mobile IP for flexible, automatic network connectivity management for mobile hosts. We augment the routing layer of the network protocol stack with a Mobile Policy Table (MPT) to support multiple packet delivery mechanisms for different simultaneous flows based on the nature of the traffic. We also devise a set of mechanisms, including a backwards-compatible extension to the routing table, to facilitate the use of multiple network devices. We include performance results showing some of the potential benefits such increased flexibility provides for mobile hosts.