Open Access Research

Handoff management in communication-based train control networks using stream control transmission protocol and IEEE 802.11p WLANs

Li Zhu1*, Fei Richard Yu2, Bin Ning1 and Tao Tang1

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, P. R. China

2 Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada

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EURASIP Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking 2012, 2012:211  doi:10.1186/1687-1499-2012-211

Published: 9 July 2012

Abstract

Communication-based train control (CBTC) network is an automated control network for railways that ensures the safe operation of rail vehicles using data communications. CBTC networks have stringent requirements for communication availability and latency. Wireless local area network (WLAN) is a popular choice in CBTC networks due to the available commercial-off-the-shelf WLAN equipments. However, handoffs in WLANs may result in communication interruption and long latency in WLANs-based CBTC networks. In this article, we propose a handoff management scheme for CBTC networks using stream control transmission protocol (SCTP) and IEEE 802.11p WLANs to provide high communication availability and low latency in CBTC networks. We formulate the handoff decision problem as a stochastic Semi-Markov Decision Process (SMDP) with the objectives of minimizing the handoff latency and maximizing the SCTP throughput. Simulation results are presented to show that the proposed scheme can significantly improve the handoff performance in CBTC networks.

Keywords:
Communication-based train control (CBTC); Handoff; Stream control transmission protocol (SCTP); IEEE 802.11p wireless local area networks (WLANs)