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Mobility management protocols operating from different layers of the classical protocol stack (e.g., link, network, transport, and application layers) have been proposed in the last several years. These protocols achieve different handoff performance for different types of applications. In this paper, mobile applications are grouped into five different classes, class A through class E, based on their mobility management requirements. Analytical models are developed to investigate the handoff performance of the existing mobility management protocols for these application classes. The analysis shows that applications of a particular class experience different handoff performance when different mobility management protocols are used. Handoff performance comparisons of different mobility management protocols are carried out to decide on the suitable mobility management protocol for a particular application class. The results of mathematical analysis advocate the use of transport layer mobility management for class B and class C applications, mobile IP for non-real-time class D and class E applications, and session initiation protocol-based mobility management for real-time class D and class E applications. Moreover, through analytical modeling, the parameters that influence the handoff performance of mobility management protocols are identified. These parameters can be used to design new application-adaptive techniques to enhance the handoff performance of the existing mobility management protocols.