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Checkpointing protocols for distributed computing systems can also be applied to mobile computing systems, but the unique characteristics of the mobile environment need to be taken into account. In this paper, an improved time-based checkpointing protocol is proposed, which is suitable for mobile computing systems based on Mobile IP. The main improvement over a traditional time-based protocol is that our protocol reduces the number of checkpoints per checkpointing process to nearly minimum, so that fewer checkpoints need to be transmitted through the bandwidth-limited wireless links. The proposed protocol also performs very well in the aspects of minimizing the number and the size of messages transmitted in the wireless network. Therefore, the protocol brings very little overhead to a mobile host which has limited resource. Additionally, by integrating the improved timer synchronization technique, our protocol can also be applied to wide area networks.