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We propose and analyze LMMesh: a routing-based location management scheme with pointer forwarding for wireless mesh networks. LMMesh integrates routing-based location update and pointer forwarding by exploiting the advantages of both methods, while avoiding their drawbacks. It considers the effect of the integration on the overall network cost incurred by location management and packet delivery. By exploring the tradeoff between the service cost for packet delivery and the signaling cost for location management, LMMesh identifies the optimal protocol setting that minimizes the overall network cost on a per-user basis for each individual mesh client, when given a set of parameter values characterizing the specific mobility and service characteristics of the mesh client. We develop an analytical model based on stochastic Petri net techniques for analyzing the performance of LMMesh and a computational procedure for calculating the overall network cost. Through a comparative performance study, we show that LMMesh outperforms both pure routing-based location management schemes and pure pointer forwarding schemes, as well as traditional tunnel-based location management schemes.