Abstract
In this paper we discuss on multicriteria
vertical handover decision algorithms in Next
Generation Networks such as Wireless WAN and
Wireless LAN. Vertical handover is performed
according to several parameters and user
preferences. User can select the most
appropriate network based on several attributes
and switch to the selected network without any
interruption in running applications and
established sessions. Therefore, handover is
performed seamlessly. There are several
algorithms for network selection, in this paper
we use fuzzy inference system for parameter
comparison and hence network selection.
Keywords: Vertical handover, seamless
handover, Next Generation Networks (NGN),
fuzzy inference engine, fuzzifier, defuzzifier
1. Introduction
Main purposes in NGN are global access to
heterogeneous networks and mobility through
them in a seamless manner. There is an emerging
trend that some of the mobile devices are
equipped with multiple network interface cards,
which are capable of connecting to different
wireless access networks. Users with
multimediaenabled wireless devices are
expected to obtain both realtime services (e.g.,
voice, video conferencing), and nonreal time
services (e.g., Simple Message Service (SMS),
Multimedia Message Service (MMS)).
There are several challenging issues on
vertical handover support [1]. The vertical
handover decision may depend on the bandwidth
available for each wireless access network, the
ISP (Internet Service Provider) charge for the
Network connection, the power usage
requirements, the current battery status of the
mobile device, services offered by each available
network, quality of the services offered user
preferences and received signal strength. In
general, the vertical handover process can be
divided into three main steps [2], [3], namely
system discovery, handover decision, and
handover execution. During the system
discovery phase, mobile terminals equipped with
multiple interfaces have to determine which
networks are available and the services available
in each network. Some available networks may
also broadcast the services provided by them and
supported data rates for these different services.
A wireless network is available if its service
advertisements can be heard by the mobile
terminal. It is critical to avoid keeping idle
interfaces always on in order to avoid excessive
consumption of battery power. The system
discovery time should be short so that the mobile
terminal can benefit from the new wireless
network. During the handover decision phase,
the mobile device determines which network it
should connect to. In this phase a decision
algorithm is used to select most suitable network
by taking into account several parameters and
user preferences. Several decision algorithms are
discussed in [47] during the handover execution
phase, connections need to be rerouted from the
existing network to the new network in a
seamless manner.
In horizontal handover, received signal
strength (RSS) is almost the only criterion being
considered whereas in vertical handover (VHO)
other factors such as quality of services offered
by the networks are also important.
In [4] decision making is considered as an
optimization problem. A cost function is
assigned for each available network, and selected
network is the one with the lowest cost function.
Multiple attributes such as band width, delay
Soroush M. Mirzaei
Zarandi*
soroush_mirzaie
@comp.iust.ac.ir
Hormoz Parsian*
hormozparsian
@gmail.com
Reza Berangi*
rberangi@iust.ac.ir
* Computer Engineering Department, Iran University of Science & Technology
Omid Abedi*
oabedi@iust.ac.ir
This work was sponsored by Iranian Telecommunication Research Center
time and consumed power are involved, and
weights are assigned to them according to their
importance for the user and quality of service
provided by the network. In [8] the proposed
algorithm is based on fuzzy logic taking received
signal strength threshold and other factors into
account as input parameters. In [9] a proposal for
mobility management in a packetoriented multi
segment using Mobile IP and fuzzy logic
concepts was proposed. However, no results on
the handoff decision algorithm were provided.
The rest of the paper is organized as follows.
A fuzzy decision algorithm based on multiple
attributes decision making algorithms is given in
section 2. Fuzzy inference systems are presented
in Section 3. A fuzzy decision algorithm based
on fuzzy concepts and MATLAB simulations are
demonstrated in Section 4. Conclusions are
presented in section 5.
2. MADM Fuzzy Method
In [6], fuzzy decision algorithm is based on
several attributes such as band width, tariff, and
seamless handover. Since some of criteria and
user preferences are fuzzy and imprecise, fuzzy
logic is used for comparison among several
attributes. Multiple Attribute Decision Making
consists of two steps: 1 converting fuzzy
numbers into real numbers 2 utilizing classic
MADM methods such as SAW (Simple Additive
Weighting) and TOPSIS ( Technique for Order
Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution) for
ranking of available networks.
SAW determines score of each available
network by weighted sum of all the attribute
values [6]. Score of network is calculated as
follows:
ij
N
j
j i
r w A =
=1
M i e (1)
where
ij
r is the normalized value of
th
j attribute
in
th
i network, and
j
w is weight of
th
j
attribute in
th
i network. N is number of
attributes, and M is number of available
networks. The desired network is selected by
comparison of values obtained from equation (1)
as following:
Max A =

i
A M i e (2)
In TOPSIS, the selected available network is the
closest one to the ideal solution (and the farthest
from the worst case solution). The ideal solution
is obtained by using the best values for each
parameter. Let
i
c denote the relative closeness
(or similarity) of the candidate network i to the
ideal solution. The selected network

TOP
A is:
Max A
TOP
=

i
c M i e
(3)
3. Fuzzy Logic
Fuzzy logic is a tool for modeling complex,
imprecise and ambiguous systems. Fuzzy logic
has two objectives:
1 Establishing computational methods for
reasoning and solving problems which require
human intelligence.
2 Maintain an effective tradeoff between
precision and the cost in developing an
approximate model of a complex system [10,
11].
3.1. Fuzzy Inference System
Inference system is a computing framework
based on the concepts of fuzzy set theory, fuzzy
ifthen rules, and fuzzy reasoning. Two types of
fuzzy inference systems that can be implemented
are the Mamdanitype and the Sugenotype [13].
The differences between these fuzzy inference
systems lie in the consequents of their fuzzy
rules, and therefore their aggregation and
defuzzification processes differ accordingly. A
Mamdani fuzzy inference system consists of
following blocks:
3.1.1. Fuzzifier. Fuzzifier converts crisp inputs
into linguistic values. The fuzzifier maps a crisp
point,
  u x x x x
T
n
e = ,..., ,
2 1
into a fuzzy set
( ) ( ) { } ,... ( , , ( ,
2 2 1 1
x x x x A
A A
= in U .
Where   1 , 0 : U
A
is the membership
function of the fuzzy set A, and ( )
i A
x is the
membership degree of
i
x in A.
3.1.2. Fuzzy rule base. It contains a number of
fuzzy IFTHEN rules. If a fuzzy system has n
inputs and a single output, its fuzzy rule
j
R is of
the general form:
IF x
1
is A
1j
and x
2
is A
2j
and and x
n
is A
nj
,
THEN y is B
j
.
ij
A
and
j
B
are fuzzy sets in R U
i
c and
R V c , respectively. The variables
 
n
T
n
U U U x x x x
x
e =
... ,... , ,
2 1 3 2 1
and
V y e are called the input and the output
linguistic variables, respectively.
3.1.3. Fuzzy inference engine. The fuzzy
inference engine performs the inference
operations on the fuzzy rules. Fuzzy logic
principles are used to combine fuzzy IFTHEN
rules in the rule base and fuzzy sets in
n
U U U U = ...
2 1
are mapped into fuzzy
sets inV . Let U Ae be the input to the fuzzy
inference engine, and let the fuzzy rule be
represented as the fuzzy implication
C Gj j R j R j R j R R
n
= = ...
3 2 1
in V U . Then, each fuzzy IFTHEN rule
determines a fuzzy set V Bj D e = using the
composition:
( ) ( )   ) ( , sup , x y x w u
A c R U x D
A =
e
(4)
3.1.3. Defuzzifier. A defuzzifier transforms the
fuzzy results of the inference into a crisp output.
It maps fuzzy sets in V into a crisp output y V.
A popular defuzzification method is the centroid
calculation which returns the centre of area under
the curve given by:
( ) ( ) ( )
= ) ( / ) ( y y y y
B B
(5)
where y is the centre of the fuzzy set C. The
bisector, middle of maximum, largest of
maximum, and smallest of maximum are other
defuzzification methods.
A fuzzy inference system is shown in Figure
1, where the input and output of the fuzzy system
are
N
R xe and R y e , respectively.
4. Decision Algorithm
A handoff algorithm must be capable of
making a decision based on incomplete
information and in a region of uncertainty. We
are designing an adaptive multicriteria handoff
Figure1. Fuzzy inference system
decision algorithm using fuzzy logic because of
inherent strength of fuzzy logic in solving
problems exhibiting imprecision. Also, the fact
that many of terms used for describing radio
signals are fuzzy in nature [9]. The algorithm
provides option to influence the handoff result
by specifying user preferences such as preferred
user wireless network and QoS required. Fuzzy
logic can be exploited to develop approximate
solutions that are both costeffective and highly
useful. Furthermore, we consider two handoff
scenarios: handoff from WWAN to WLAN, and
handoff from WLAN to WWAN.
4.1. Handover from WWAN to WLAN
Wireless WANs (slower, Costlier, broader
coverage area and global access) and Wireless
LANs (faster, larger bandwidth, less expensive
and lesser coverage area) possess complementary
characteristics; hence mobility between these
two networks for users with multi interface
mobile terminals provides a seamless global
access. In general using WLAN is preferable
where the quality of service and coverage area is
salient. Handover from WLAN to WWAN is
desired when a user is leaving WLAN coverage
area. VHO between WLAN and WWAN
provides a seamless movement without any
interruption in running applications and
established sessions. WWAN is always
available, and WLAN is an optional choice.
Therefore, handover from WWAN to WLAN
improves quality of service.
4.1.1 Handover Decision Using Fuzzy Logic.
The multi interface mobile terminal associated
with the WWAN monitors at repeated intervals
and measures the RSS of nearby WLANs to see
whether or not a better high data rate WLAN
service is available. Input data from both user
and system are required for the handoff decision
algorithm whose main purpose is selecting an
optimum wireless network for a particular
service that can satisfy the following objectives:
preferred user wireless network, proper signal
Fuzzy
Rules
Fuzzifier
Inference
Engine
Defuzzifier
y
x
strength, suitable network coverage, optimum
bandwidth, low cost, high reliability and
seamless connection. The priority order of the
preferred user wireless network could be office
WLAN, residential WLAN and then public
WLAN where the priority order is based on
security, throughput, cost, and routing
performance. The RSS of the target network
must be larger than the RSS threshold (say, 76
dBm) which enables quality WLAN
communication service for a period of time.
Fuzzy logic algorithms can be implemented in
the mobile terminal as a Handoff Decision
Engine to provide rules for decision making. The
input parameters (preferred user wireless
network, available bandwidth, RSS, and network
coverage area of the target WLAN network) are
fed into a fuzzifier transforming them into fuzzy
sets by determining the degree to which they
belong to each of the appropriate fuzzy sets via
membership functions. Next, the fuzzy sets are
fed into a fuzzy inference engine where a set of
fuzzy IFTHEN rules is applied to obtain fuzzy
decision sets. The output fuzzy decision sets are
aggregated into a single fuzzy set and passed to
the defuzzifier to be converted into a precise
quantity during the final stage of the handoff
decision.
4.1.2. Simulation Using MATLAB. Each of the
input parameters is assigned to one of three
fuzzy sets; for example, the fuzzy set values for
the RSS consist of the linguistic terms: Strong
(S), Medium (M), and Weak (W). These sets are
mapped to corresponding Gaussian membership
functions. The universe of discourse for the
fuzzy variable RSS is defined from 78 dBm to 
66 dBm. The fuzzy set Strong is defined from
72 dBm to 66 dBm with the maximum
membership at 66 dBm. Similarly, the fuzzy set
Medium for the RSS is defined from 78 dBm
to 66 dBm with the maximum membership at 
72 dBm, and the fuzzy set Weak for the RSS is
defined from 78 dBm to 72 dBm with the
maximum membership at 78 dBm. The universe
of discourse for the variable available Bandwidth
(BW) is defined from 0 Mbps to 56 Mbps, the
universe of discourse for the variable Network
Coverage area is defined from 0 m to 300 m, and
the universe of discourse for the variable
Preferred User Wireless Network is defined from
0 to 10. The fuzzy set values for the output
decision variable Vertical Handover (VHO) are
{Yes (Y), Probably Yes (PY), Uncertain (U),
Probably No (PN), and No (N)}. The universe of
discourse for the variable Handover is defined
from 0 to 4, with the maximum membership of
the sets No and Yes at 0 and 4, respectively.
The membership functions for the inputs and
output fuzzy variables are shown in Figures 2 to
6.
Figure 2. Received signal strength input
Figure 3. Bandwidth input
Figure 4. Network coverage input
Figure 5. User preferred network input
Figure 6. Handover output
Since there are four fuzzy variables and 3
fuzzy sets for each of these variables, there are 3
4
(81) rules in fuzzy rule base such as:
1. IF user preferred network is Public WLAN,
and BW is low, and RSS is weak, and Coverage
area small, THEN VHO is N.
2. IF user preferred network is Residential
WLAN, and BW is low, and RSS is weak, and
Coverage area is medium, THEN VHO is PN
3. IF user preferred network is Residential
WLAN, and BW is low, RSS is weak, and
Coverage area is good, THEN VHO is U.
4. IF user preferred network is Office WLAN,
and BW is medium, and RSS is medium, and
Coverage area is medium, THEN VHO is PY.
5. IF user preferred network is Office WLAN,
BW is medium, and RSS is medium, and
Coverage area is large, THEN VHO is PY.
6. IF user preferred network is Office WLAN,
and BW is high, RSS is medium, and Coverage
area is large, THEN VHO is Y.
7. IF user preferred network is Public WLAN,
and BW is low, and RSS is medium, and
Coverage area is medium, THEN VHO is U.
8. IF user preferred network is Office WLAN,
and BW is high, and RSS is strong, and
Coverage area is large, THEN VHO is Y.
9. IF user preferred network is Residential
WLAN, and BW is medium, and RSS is strong,
and Coverage area is medium, THEN VHO is
PY.
10. IF user preferred network is Office WLAN,
and BW is medium, and RSS is medium, and
Coverage area is small, THEN VHO is U.
11. IF user preference network is Residential
WLAN, and BW is medium, and RSS is
medium, and Coverage area is small, THEN
VHO is PN.
12. IF user preferred network is Public WLAN,
and BW is low, and RSS is medium, and
Coverage area is small, THEN VHO is N.
Figure 7 represents MATLAB simulation of
above fuzzy IF  THEN rules.
Figure 7. Handover from WWAN to WLAN
4.2. Handover from WLAN to WWAN
WLAN has smaller coverage area as compare
with WWAN. When a user is moving away from
WLAN`s coverage area, decision for VHO must
be made at the right time and very precisely so
that the user stays connected without any
interruption.
4.2.1. Simulation Using MATLAB. Parameters
considered for VHO from WLAN to WWAN
are: RSS, BW, coverage area and received
quality of service from the current WLAN.
Design and implementation of this case is the
same as previous one. However, in this case
quality of service (QoS) for the current network
is an input parameter which must be taken into
consideration, and its membership function is
shown in figure 8.
Figure 8. Quality of service input
Seven fuzzy IFTHEN rules are considered
and shown in figure 9 (simulation with
MATLAB).
1. IF received QoS is undesirable, and BW is
low, and RSS is weak, and Coverage area is
small, then VHO is Y.
2. IF received QoS is undesirable, and BW is
low, and RSS is weak, and coverage area is
medium, then VHO is PY.
3. IF received QoS is undesirable, and BW is
medium, and RSS is weak, and coverage area is
medium, then VHO is U.
4. IF received QoS is desirable, and BW is
medium, and RSS is medium, and Coverage area
is medium, then VHO is PN.
5. IF received QoS is desirable, and BW is high,
and RSS is strong, and coverage area is large,
then VHO is N.
6. IF received QoS is undesirable, BW is
medium, and RSS is strong, and coverage area is
medium, then VHO is U.
7. IF received QoS is desirable, and BW is high,
and RSS is strong, and coverage area is medium,
then VHO is N.
Figure 9. Handover from WLAN to WWAN
5. CONCLUSION
In this paper, we used fuzzy logic for decision
making in VHO. Since there are several network
attributes and parameters involved in decision
making, fuzzy logic is used for selection of
optimal network. This algorithm considers
effective parameters and user's preferences in
network selection with regarding rules in fuzzy
rule base. Classical fuzzy MADM methods such
as SAW and TOPSIS which require lengthy
calculations are very time consuming and
difficult to implement. In contrast, proposed
algorithm using simple fuzzy concepts is easy to
implement and cost effective. It requires four
basic elements: Fuzzifier, defuzzier, fuzzy base
rule and fuzzy inference engine. Later is the
main part of this system and performs the
network evaluation and network selection.
6. Acknowledgement
This work was sponsored by Iran
Telecommunication Research Center.
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