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In this paper, we propose a mobile terminal (MT) location registration/update model. In this model, the registration decision is based on two factors-the time elapsed since last call arrival and the distance the MT has traveled since last registration. It is established that the optimal registration strategy can be represented by a curve. Only when the state of the system reaches this curve is a registration performed. In order for an MT to calculate its traveled distance, an interactive implementation scheme and a distance calculation algorithm are developed. When the call interarrival times are independent and geometrically distributed, the proposed model becomes a distance-based model and, in this case, the optimal registration strategy is of threshold structure. For the distance-based model, a single sample path-based ordinal optimization algorithm is devised. In this algorithm, without any knowledge about the system parameters, the MT observes the system state transitions, estimates the ordinal of a set of strategies, and updates the registration strategy adaptively. Since only a single sample path is used, this algorithm can be implemented online. Several numerical examples are provided to compare the proposed model and the existing ones.