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To ensure state synchronization of signalling operations, many signaling protocol designs choose to establish ldquosoftrdquo state that expires if it is not refreshed. The approaches of refreshing state in multi-hop signaling system can be classified as either end-to-end (E2E) or hop-by-hop (HbH). Although both state refresh approaches have been widely used in practical signaling protocols, the design tradeoffs between state synchronization and signaling cost have not yet been fully investigated. In this paper, we investigate this issue from the perspectives of state refresh and state removal. We propose simple but effective Markov chain models for both approaches and obtain closed-form solutions which depict the state refresh performance in terms of state consistency and refresh message rate, as well as the state removal performance in terms of state removal delay. Simulations verify the analytical models. It is observed that the HbH approach yields much better state synchronization at the cost of higher signaling cost than the E2E approach. While the state refresh performance can be improved by increasing the values of state refresh and timeout timers, the state removal delay increases largely for both E2E and HbH approaches. The analysis here shed lights on the design of signaling protocols and the configuration of the timers to adapt to changing network conditions.