Locally optimal soft handoff algorithms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The design of soft handoff algorithms for cellular radio systems is considered. The design problem is posed as a tradeoff between three metrics: the rate of handoffs, the mean size of the active set, and the link quality. It is argued that the algorithm that optimizes the tradeoff between these metrics is impractical. Hence, a locally optimal (LO) handoff algorithm is derived as a practical approximation to the optimal handoff algorithm. The LO algorithm is shown to yield a significantly better tradeoff than the static threshold handoff algorithm used in second-generation code-division multiple-access (CDMA) systems. It is also shown that the dynamic threshold algorithm, which is an ad hoc algorithm proposed for third-generation CDMA systems, achieves nearly the same performance as the LO algorithm. Thus, an analytical justification is developed for the dynamic threshold algorithm. Further, handoff algorithm design is separated into independent design problems on the forward and reverse links. The forward link LO algorithm is shown to be computationally intensive but is also shown to be closely approximated by the simpler reverse link LO algorithm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-356
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2003


  • Cellular systems
  • Code-division multiple access (CDMA)
  • Handover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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