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Users can be served by multiple network-enabled terminal devices, each of which in turn can have multiple network interfaces. This multihoming at both the user and device level presents new opportunities for mobility handling. Mobility can be handled by utilizing devices, namely, middleboxes that can provide intermediary routing or adaptation services. This article presents an approach to enabling this kind of mobility handling using the concept of personal networks (PNs). Personal networks (PNs) consist of dynamic conglomerations of terminal and middlebox devices tasked to facilitate the delivery of information to and from a single human user. This concept creates the potential to view mobility handling as a path selection problem because there may be multiple valid terminal device and middlebox configurations that can successfully carry a given communication session. We present details and an evaluation of our approach, based on an extension of the Host Identity Protocol, which demonstrate its simplicity and effectiveness.
Date of Publication: September-October 2008