One-step pointer forwarding strategy for location tracking in distributed HLR environment

Kuen Liang Sue*, Chien-Chao Tseng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


One of the main challenges in personal communication service (PCS) is to locate many mobiles that may move frequently from place to place. Such a system operation is called location tracking. Many network signals flow, and database queries are required to achieve such a task. In addition to the two-level hierarchical strategy in IS-41 and GSM, several strategies have been proposed to improve the efficiency of location tracking. Pointer forwarding was used to reduce the expensive home location register (HLR) accesses. Previously, the distributed HLR scheme was proposed to prevent HLR from becoming a bottleneck in the signaling network. However, the length of a forwarding pointer chain may be lengthened in a distributed HLR environment. In this paper, we propose a more efficient strategy to overcome this potential problem. This strategy attempts to migrate the locating chains in a distributed HLR system when a mobile issues a registration operation. As a consequence, the length of any forwarding pointer chain does not exceed one in our strategy. Simulation results indicate that our strategy significantly decreases the locating cost. In fact, this strategy provides an upper bound of location tracking time owing to the fact that the length of any locating path does not exceed one. Furthermore, obsolete entries in local databases visiter location registers can be reclaimed in this strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1455-1466
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 1997


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