When a mobile wireless sensor is moving along heterogeneous wireless sensor networks, it can be under the coverage of more than one network many times. In these situations, the Vertical Handoff process can happen, where the mobile sensor decides to change its connection from a network to the best network among the available ones according to their quality of service characteristics. A fitness function is used for the handoff decision, being desirable to minimize it. This is an optimization problem which consists of the adjustment of a set of weights for the quality of service. Solving this problem efficiently is relevant to heterogeneous wireless sensor networks in many advanced applications. Numerous works can be found in the literature dealing with the vertical handoff decision, although they all suffer from the same shortfall: a non-comparable efficiency. Therefore, the aim of this work is twofold: first, to develop a fast decision algorithm that explores the entire space of possible combinations of weights, searching that one that minimizes the fitness function; and second, to design and implement a system on chip architecture based on reconfigurable hardware and embedded processors to achieve several goals necessary for competitive mobile terminals: good performance, low power consumption, low economic cost, and small area integration.
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