Location management in cellular mobile computing systems with dynamic hierarchical location databases

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

11 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-171
Journal / PublicationJournal of Systems and Software
Issue number1-2
Online published9 Oct 2003
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


An important issue in the design of a mobile computing system is how to manage the location information of mobile clients. In the existing commercial cellular mobile computing systems, a two-tier architecture is adopted. However, the two-tier architecture is not scalable. In the literatures, a hierarchical database structure is proposed in which the location information of mobile clients within a cell is managed by the location database responsible for the cell. The location databases of different cells are organized into a tree-like structure to facilitate the search of mobile clients. Although this architecture can distribute the updates and the searching workload amongst the location databases in the system, location update overheads can be very expensive when the mobility of clients is high. In this paper, we study the issues on how to generate location updates under the distance-based method for systems using hierarchical location databases. A cost-based method is proposed for calculating the optimal distance threshold with the objective to minimize the total location management cost. Furthermore, under the existing hierarchical location database scheme, the tree structure of the location databases is static. It cannot adapt to the changes in mobility patterns of mobile clients. This will affect the total location management cost in the system. In the second part of the paper, we present a reorganization strategy to restructure the hierarchical tree of location databases according to the mobility patterns of the clients with the objective to minimize the location management cost. Extensive simulation experiments have been performed to investigate the reorganization strategy when our location update generation method is applied.

Research Area(s)

  • Location database, Location database reorganization, Location management, Location update cost, Mobile computing system