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Sensors 2013, 13(11), 15026-15047; doi:10.3390/s131115026

A Reinforcement Sensor Embedded Vertical Handoff Controller for Vehicular Heterogeneous Wireless Networks

1,2,* , 1,* , 2,* and 1
1
CRC, School of Electronics and Information Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Nan Gang District, Harbin 150001, China
2
INFINITUS, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue 639798, Singapore
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 September 2013 / Revised: 28 October 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 4 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Sensor Networks)

Abstract

Vehicular communication platforms that provide real-time access to wireless networks have drawn more and more attention in recent years. IEEE 802.11p is the main radio access technology that supports communication for high mobility terminals, however, due to its limited coverage, IEEE 802.11p is usually deployed by coupling with cellular networks to achieve seamless mobility. In a heterogeneous cellular/802.11p network, vehicular communication is characterized by its short time span in association with a wireless local area network (WLAN). Moreover, for the media access control (MAC) scheme used for WLAN, the network throughput dramatically decreases with increasing user quantity. In response to these compelling problems, we propose a reinforcement sensor (RFS) embedded vertical handoff control strategy to support mobility management. The RFS has online learning capability and can provide optimal handoff decisions in an adaptive fashion without prior knowledge. The algorithm integrates considerations including vehicular mobility, traffic load, handoff latency, and network status. Simulation results verify that the proposed algorithm can adaptively adjust the handoff strategy, allowing users to stay connected to the best network. Furthermore, the algorithm can ensure that RSUs are adequate, thereby guaranteeing a high quality user experience.
Keywords: vehicular communication; heterogeneous network; vertical handoff; machine learning; automatic control vehicular communication; heterogeneous network; vertical handoff; machine learning; automatic control
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, L.; Xu, Y.; Soong, B.-H.; Ma, L. A Reinforcement Sensor Embedded Vertical Handoff Controller for Vehicular Heterogeneous Wireless Networks. Sensors 2013, 13, 15026-15047.

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