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A Fast Neighbor Discovery and DAD Scheme for Fast Handover in Mobile

IPv6 Networks
Byungjoo Park, Sunguk Lee, Haniph Latchman
Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL32611
pbj0625@ufl.edu, sunguk@ufl.edu, latchman@list.ufl.edu

In Mobile IPv6 (MIPv6), the handover process
reveals numerous problems manifested by timeconsuming network layer-based movement detection,
non-optimized time sequencing of handover
procedures and latency in configuring a new care of
address with duplicate address detection (DAD). The
delays associated with DAD and movement detection
are unavoidable in MIPv6. To mitigate such effects we
specify a more efficient fast Neighbor Discovery and
DAD scheme. This approach requires each access
point to execute movement detection by unicast
transmission of the Stored Router Advertisement
message and implementation of a modified Neighbor
Cache to handle care of address configuration with
fast DAD. Simulation results show that the proposed
scheme can yield better performance than the Mobile
IPv6, Fast Mobile IPv6 and Fast Hierarchical Mobile

1. Introduction
Mobile IPv6 is designed to manage the movement
of Mobile Nodes (MNs) between wireless IPv6
networks. The protocol provides seamless connectivity
to MNs when they move from one wireless point of
attachment to another in a different subnet. Mobile
IPv6 notifies the correspondent(s) of a MN about its
new location by binding the MN addresses.
Nevertheless, the MN cannot receive IP packets on its
new point of attachment until the handover finishes.
Concerning Mobility support in IPv6 (MIPv6) [1],
an MN can determine its network layer movement by
using Router Discovery and Neighbor Unreachability
Detection. After a MN makes a new Care of Address
(CoA), it must check its uniqueness by DAD.
The delay of network layer-based movement
detection, non-optimized time sequencing of handover
procedures and latency in configuring a new care of

address are inevitable in Mobile IPv6. These delays

will cause packet disruption and increase network load.
But Fast handovers for Mobile IPv6 could be reduced
for real time applications and throughput sensitive
application by fast movement detection scheme with
L2 trigger event. Actually, the handover latency could
be too long regarding real time multimedia
applications. Some studies have been done to reduce
handover latency, particularly in movement detection
and in new CoA configuration such as Fast handovers
for Mobile IPv6 [2], Optimistic Duplicate Address
Detection [3], Router Advertisement Cashing in
Access Point (AP) for Fast Router Discovery [4], and
Advance Duplicate Address Detection [5].
In this paper, we present an Efficient Movement
Detection procedure which quickly sends Router
Solicitation (RS) and Router Advertisement (RA)
message without Random Delay using Stored RA
messages with unicast. Doing so quickly determines
the uniqueness of a new CoA using the modified
Neighbor cache of an access router. In particular, we
focus on the delay optimization of movement detection
and DAD for fast handover in Mobile IPv6 Networks.
In movement detection [2], RS delays the transmission
for a random amount of time (Random delay for RS,
RD_RS) [6]. This time serves to alleviate congestion
when many hosts start up on a link at the same time,
which might happen after recovery from a power
failure. Also, RA must be delayed by a random amount
time (Random delay for RA, RD_RA). This time is
required to prevent multiple nodes from transmitting at
exactly the same time, and to prevent long-range
periodic transmissions from synchronizing with each
other. These random delays are the second largest
delay after DAD in MIPv6 Network-Layer handovers.
In DAD procedure, after generation of a CoA [1], an
MN should perform DAD for testing the new CoAs
uniqueness within the new link. The proposed scheme
enhances processing time of DAD using lookup

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2. Related Work
A. Handover Procedure in Mobile IPv6
We can define the handover procedure like as
movement detection, new CoA configuration, DAD
and binding update. To process Movement Detection,
an MN detects that it has moved to a new subnet by
analyzing the router advertisement periodically sent by
the access router (AR). The MN can also request the
AR to send a router advertisement by sending a router
solicitation. To initiate CoA configuration and DAD,
the information contained in the router advertisement
will allow the MN to create a new CoA. As specified
in IPv6 [6], the MN first needs to verify the uniqueness
of its link-local address on the new link. The MN
performs DAD on its link-local address. Then, it may
autoconfiguration [7] to form its new CoA.
1) Movement Detection: The primary aim of
movement detection is to identify L3 handovers. In
MIPv6, movement detection generally uses Neighbor
Unreachability Detection to determine when the
default router is no longer bi-directionally reachable, in
which case the mobile node must discover a new
default router on a new link.
However, this detection only occurs when the
mobile node has packets to send, and in the absence of
frequent Router Advertisements or indications from the
link-layer, the mobile node might become unaware of
an L3 handover. After a change of Link Layer
connection the MN must detect any change at the IP
Layer before it can signal the change to the network. In
MIPv6 this uses RS and RA to detect changes of IP
network prefix. This is part of the standard Router
Discovery Protocol [6]. The Router Discovery Protocol
of IPv6 Neighbor Discovery contains built in timers.
These timers prevent a router from sending immediate
responses to RS in order to prevent multiple nodes
from transmitting at exactly the same time and to avoid
long-range periodic transmissions from synchronizing
with each other. These are significant delays since they
interfere with the MIPv6 movement detection
algorithm thus preventing mobility signaling for up to
1000ms [1] [6].
2) Duplicate Address Detection (DAD): In MIPv6,
after completing movement detection an MN should
generate a new CoA using IPv6 stateless address autoconfiguration upon moving to the new link [6] [7].
After generation of the CoA an MN should perform
DAD for testing the new CoAs uniqueness within the
new link. The duration required to complete DAD is up
to 1 second. This delay is inherent to MIPv6.

B. Fast Handover for Mobile IPv6

The Fast Handover Protocol is an extension of
Mobile IPv6 that allows an AR to offer services to an
MN in order to anticipate a layer 3 handover.
Movement anticipation is based on the layer 2 triggers.
An L2 trigger is information based on the link layer
protocol, below the IPv6 protocol, in order to begin the
L3 handover before the L2 handover ends. An L2
trigger and link layer identification are roles of
different entities [2].
1) Anticipate Handover:

Figure 1. The message sequence diagram of Fast handover

mechanism for MIPv6

In anticipated handover, the MN or the current AR

receives an L2 trigger indication that the MN is about
to perform an L2 handover. This trigger must contain
information allowing the target AR identification. If
the MN receives the L2 trigger it must initiate the
handover and request fast handover to its AR. The
current AR then sends a valid IPv6 address for the new
subnet to both the MN and the target AR for
validation. Then the target AR ensures that the address
is unique in its subnet and sends the validation result to
the current AR. If the address is valid, the current AR
forwards the authorization to the MN and target AR.
When the MN establishes a connection with the new
AR it can immediately use the new care of address as
the source address in the outgoing packets and send a
binding update to the home agent and correspondent
node. To minimize the loss of packets, the previous
access router (PAR) forwards all the packets intended
to the MN to the new access router (NAR) [2]. These
are shown in Figure 1. However, the anticipated
handover must be controlled by the network since the

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MN cannot send an L3 packet once it has started an L2


3. Fast Neighbor Discovery and DAD

In this section, we describe our proposed scheme to
reduce the latency and network load resulting from
movement detection and DAD for the fast handover in
Mobile IPv6 networks. Figure 2 shows proposed
MIPv6 with FNDD procedure.

A. Movement Detection using Stored RA

In movement detection, the MN is aware of
performing handover to another AP because of the
problem of channel maintenance or L3 handover. The
MN achieves a scan to observe APs through probes.

stateless address auto-configuration scheme and the

prefix option allowed in RA messages. Before
finishing a layer 2 handover, the MN sends the RS
message by unicast signaling to the new AR using the
received stored RAs source address included in the
Association Response Message. Unicast signaling
method is of great significance because it can reduce
the network load and avoid the random delays
attributed to RS and RA. We also add a mechanism to
RS messages in order to process the new DAD method.
An MN can help smooth handover by adding the CoA
used by an MN to the RS as an option to provide
interoperability with normal nodes. This take places by
using a bit in reserved field and notifying the node that
follows by the scheme that we offer. We name this bit
as the New MN and the two options as Previous MNs
CoA and previous ARs global address. This modified
RS message is also named New RS (NRS). When the
NAR obtains the NRS message from an MN, the AR
performs DAD as well as movement detection by using
the neighbor cache. In this paper, we presume that the
network considered in our proposed scheme is only
composed of LAN to instantly allocate the generated
link local address. Figure 3 shows the format of the
New Modified Router Solicitation Message (NRS).

Figure 3. New Router Solicitation Message (NRS)

Figure 2. Fast Neighbor Discovery and DAD method
procedure (FNDD)

The result of the scan is a list of APs information.

Authentication is completed, and then the MN sends
the association request message with its MAC address.
The AP grants association by sending the Association
Response Message. After association is made the AP
sends the stored RA to an MN in Association Response
Our proposed Movement detection scheme is based
on FastRD [4]. In our Fast Movement Detection
procedure, when the MN receives the stored RA
message from an AP during an L2 handover, the MN
compares the prefix of the RA message with existing
prefixes in the cache. If the prefix is different, the MN
is able to generate a link-local address using the

B. CoA configuration and DAD

After movement detection in Standard MIPv6 an
MN has to perform DAD. This DAD procedure takes
up to 1 second to complete [3] [6]. Hence we propose a
new DAD scheme. The proposed method is to use the
neighbor cache of an AR with sufficient buffer size to
allow many nodes to attach simultaneously. Firstly, the
MN allocates this generated link-local address in its
interface without DAD.
An MN cannot instantly allocate the generated linklocal address from the existing method. Since there is
little probability of address duplication the address can
be allocated in advance and all other RA messages
from the AR are ignored to prevent duplication. In our
proposed scheme, we assume that the network is
composed of Local Area Network (LAN) with unique

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MAC address in case of IEEE-802.11 networks.

Hence, the probability of address duplication is almost
zero. We need to consider how a neighbor cache and
the Neighbor Unreachability Detection (NUD)
procedure perform DAD. As stated [6], a neighbor
cache contains one entry for each neighbor to which
the node has recently sent messages. Each entry of a
neighbor cache may be generated by the RS, the
Neighbor Solicitation (NS) or the Unsolicited
Neighbor Advertisement (NA) in the case of router.
The entries generated in this way are maintained in the
state of stale until traffic is sent to the neighbor. Since
the neighbor cache has the list of all hosts of the link,
which the AR manages, we can compare the entry of
the neighbor cache with an MNs MAC address, which
is included in each NRS message transmitted from MN
to AR. Figure 4 show RFC 2462 [7] operation of DAD
and FNDD operation of DAD.

algorithm in order to show the lookup time on the

worst performance. Under the present circumstance,
since a memory access requires from 60 to 100 nsec
[9] and a comparison requires 10nsec in DRAM [10],
we can use the delay value for access and comparison
operations in RAM as 70 and 110nsec. In Patricia Trie
case, since lookup requires memory access of 48 times
in worst case, the number of lookup value is 48.
Hence, Lookup delay is 5.28 sec in worst case. Also,
the use of neighbor cache for movement detection and
DAD gives an additional advantage of obtaining
alternative addresses because addresses are managed in
the neighbor cache. This acquisition of alternative
addresses does not consume much time. This is merely
the problem of implementation.

Figure 5. New Router Advertisement Message (NRA)

Figure 4. Duplicate Address Detection Procedures. (a) RFC
2462 and (b) FNDD

DAD must be specially managed. If the addresses

of all nodes are generated on the link by stateless autoconfiguration, we dont have to consider DAD.
However, if the link-local address of a node is changed
manually in the middle of use or generated by some
exceptional process the ARs can not maintain the entry
of the node in the neighbor cache. We propose that
ARs should be able to receive solicited multicast NS
messages for normal DAD of exceptional nodes. Since
the solicited NS message is sent by multicast, the ARs
can receive this message by modification of its
interface [7]. The lookup in the neighbor cache on
NAR is the DAD procedure. The DAD using lookup
algorithm [9] [10] consumes an extremely short
amount of time, typically a few micro second units,
such as Longest Prefix Matching speeds in routing
table. In the Patricia Trie search, the address lookup
delay could be represented to multiply the number of
lookup by the delay for access and comparison
operations in RAM. This Patricia Trie has the worst
performance in line per minute (LPM). We use this

If the NAR receives the NRS message from an

MN, it can check the entry of the Neighbor Cache for
movement detection and DAD. If there is no
duplication, an NRS message should also be included
in the Neighbor Cache. If not, it must find an
alternative address. This alternative address can be
chosen in the pre-configured table made by the router.
This alternative address is inserted as a new entry in
the Neighbor Cache. If this procedure is completed, the
ARs can unicast the RA message to the MNs LinkLocal Address of the destination address. This RA can
also be modified like the RS message by adding a 2-bit
D-flag to the Reserved flag and including the New
MAC address and New link-local address as
options in the option field in case of address
duplication. We name this new RA message NRA.
Figure 5 shows the format of Modified Router
Advertisement Message (NRA).
Table 1 defines the D-bits. When an MN receives
an NRA the MN has to be operated by D-bits.

Must change MAC address. (Non-802 case)
Can allocate a new CoA and a link-local

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Must change the link-local address assigned
into the alternative Address.
Can not use.
Table 1. The D-flag of NRA message

We again consider that the MN immediately

allocates a link-local address in the new interface. This
MN can not communicate until the completion of DAD
using lookup. However, since 802.11 assigns unique
MAC addresses, the time required to complete DAD is
irrelevant in the case where multiple ARs have the
same link-local address. The problem is how the AR
notifies the NRA message to this node when the two
nodes of the same address exist. This can be settled by
multicasting the NRA. The other IPv6 nodes do not
care about this NRA message, because they can neglect
the option of the message which is not known well.
Therefore, our nodes can discard this NRA
message as the nodes confirm the MAC address
included in the NRA message option. After all, the
NRA message is only sent to MN which sent the NRS
message. Despite the required random delay of 500
msec to send RA we can solve this problem by FastRA

To measure packet delay time during handover, we

use UDP traffic that constantly send packet from CN to
MN without ACK. Mobile Node moves to AR6 with
speed 10m/s.
Fig. 7, Fig. 8 and Fig. 9 compare packet delay
during handover between ARs with an L2 trigger event
occurring at 245m.

Figure 7. Packet Delay when mobile node moves from AR

1 to AR 2

4. Simulation Results
To evaluate the performance of the proposed
mechanism, we used a simulation network as shown in
Figure 6. A simulator is implemented by using NS-2 to
evaluate the packet delay and packet loss of Standard
MIPv6, Fast MIPv6, Fast-Hierarchical and Proposed
Mobile IPv6 with FNDD. In this simulation network
we used ten units, including home agent (HA),
correspondent node (CN), Router, AR and MN. For the
simulation network we used wired links that have
bandwidth of 5Mps and link delay of 35ms, 40ms, and
280ms respectively. Routers active like Mobility
Anchor Point (MAP).

Figure 8. Packet Delay when mobile node moves from AR

2 to AR 3

In Fig. 7 and Fig. 8, our proposed FNDD packet

delay shows good performance compared with other
protocols during handover between ARs connected

Figure 6. Simulation Network Topology

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5. Conclusions

Figure 9. Packet Delay when mobile node moves from AR3

to AR4

In Fig. 9, during handover in different MAPs (From

AR3 to AR4), the FNDD handover delay increased
compared with same MAP (From AR1 to AR2);
however, the handover delay shows good performance
compared with other protocols.

In this paper we proposed a fast handover

mechanism using fast neighbor discovery and DAD for
fast moving mobile nodes. The use of a modified
Neighbor Cache with look up algorithm has merits,
such as a quicker DAD checking speed, which solves
the shortcomings of conventional DAD when a router
has more than two links. We also can take alternative
addresses by managing addresses in the network.
Through fast movement detection and DAD, we could
supply faster smooth handover with the RS message.
By measuring the packet delay under the fast handover
scheme, we confirmed that the proposed FNDD
mechanism has much lower packet delay time than
existing mechanisms, which culminates in less packet
delay time.

[1] D.Johnson, C. Perkins, J. Arkko, Mobility Support in
IPv6, draft-ietf-mobileip-ipv6-24.txt,june 2003
[2] Koodli, R., Fast Handovers for Mobile IPv6, RFC 4068,
July 2005.
[3] N. Moore, Optimistic Duplicate Address Detection,
draft-ietf-ipv6-optimistic-dad-05.txt, Feb 2005.
[4] JinHyoeck Choi, DongYun Shin. Fast Router Discovery
with RA, draft-jinchoi-mobileip-frd-00.txt, June 2002.
[5] Y. Han, Y. Choi, S. Park, Advance Duplicate Address
Detection, draft-han-mobileip-adad-00.txt, Feb 2003
[6] Narten, T., Nordmark, E., Neighbor Discovery for IP
version 6 (IPv6), RFC 2461, December 1998

Figure 10. Latency of Handover Delay in each protocol

The overall latency between the time when an MN
received the last packet from its PAR and the time
when the MN received the first packet from its NAR is
depicted in Figure 10. In MIPv6, the latency of
handover is similar for all handover cases between
ARs whether the MN switches MAPs or not, since the
MN can receive a new packet from NAR by sending
BU message to HA. The blocking and releasing packet
time of FMIPv6 and FHMIPv6 protocol are almost
same. Therefore the FMIPv6 has a similar latency of
handover with the FHMIPv6. The proposed MIPv6
with FNDD enhances the latency value for handover
between ARs and between MAPs by fast movement
detection and DAD. Conclusively, our proposed
scheme represents prominent results when compared to

[7] S. Thomson, T. Narten, IPv6 Stateless Address Autoconfiguration, RFC 2462, Dec. 1998
[8] J. Kempf, M. Khalil, B. Pentland. Ipv6 Fast Router
Advertisement, draft-mkhalil-ipv6-fastra-04-txt, Oct. 2003.
[9] V. Srinivasan, G. Varghese, Fast Address Lookups
Using Controlled Prefix Expansion, ACM Transactions on
Computer System, Vol.17, Feb.1999.
[10] R. Kawabe, S. Ata, M. Murata On Performance
Prediction of Address Lookup Algorithms of IP Routers
through Simulation and Analysis Techniques, IEEE
International Conference on Communications 2002 (ICC
2002), April 2002.

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