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The IEEE 802.11 standard has enabled low-cost and effective wireless local area network (WLAN) services. It is widely believed that WLANs will become a major portion of the fourth-generation cellular system. The seamless handoff problem in WLANs is a very important design issue to support the new astounding and amazing applications in WLANs, particularly for a user in a mobile vehicle. The entire delay time of a handoff is divided into probe, authentication, and reassociation delay times. Because the probe delay occupies most of the handoff delay time, efforts have mainly focused on reducing the probe delay to develop faster handoff schemes. This paper presents a new fast handoff scheme (i.e., the DeuceScan scheme) to further reduce the probe delay for IEEE-802.11-based WLANs. The proposed scheme can be useful to improve wireless communication qualities on vehicles. A spatiotemporal approach is developed in this paper to utilize a spatiotemporal graph to provide spatiotemporal information for making accurate handoff decisions by correctly searching for the next access point. The DeuceScan scheme is a prescan approach that efficiently reduces the layer-2 handoff latency. Two factors of stable signal strength and variable signal strength are used in our developed DeuceScan scheme. Finally, simulation results illustrate the performance achievements of the DeuceScan scheme in reducing handoff delay time and packet loss rate and improving link quality.
Date of Publication: March 2008