Reliable and fast hand-offs in low-power wireless networks

Hossein Fotouhi*, Mário Alves, Marco Zúñiga Zamalloa, Anis Koubâa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Hand-off (or hand-over), the process where mobile nodes select the best access point available to transfer data, has been well studied in wireless networks. The performance of a hand-off process depends on the specific characteristics of the wireless links. In the case of low-power wireless networks, hand-off decisions must be carefully taken by considering the unique properties of inexpensive low-power radios. This paper addresses the design, implementation and evaluation of smart-HOP, a hand-off mechanism tailored for low-power wireless networks. This work has three main contributions. First, it formulates the hard hand-off process for low-power networks (such as typical wireless sensor networks - WSNs) with a probabilistic model, to investigate the impact of the most relevant channel parameters through an analytical approach. Second, it confirms the probabilistic model through simulation and further elaborates on the impact of several hand-off parameters. Third, it fine-tunes the most relevant hand-off parameters via an extended set of experiments, in a realistic experimental scenario. The evaluation shows that smart-HOP performs well in the transitional region while achieving more than 98 percent relative delivery ratio and hand-off delays in the order of a few tens of a milliseconds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6747331
Pages (from-to)2620-2633
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • hand-off
  • hand-over
  • link characteristics
  • low-power links
  • Mobility
  • wireless sensor networks


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