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The authors propose a hierarchical control framework of Switch-And-Navigate (SAN) for controlling a data ferry in a highly partitioned mobile network with bounded delay constraints. In SAN, the global control utilizes the buffer states and the beliefs of gateway locations in all domains to select the best domain to switch to. When the ferry enters a domain, the local control is activated to navigate the ferry for fast searching of the gateway. Simulation results show that SAN outperforms the best known predetermined policy with just one-step look-ahead. Moreover, approximation policies are developed for better computational efficiency in practical applications. In the future, the scenario of joint control of multiple ferries will be explored.
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