List of ad-hoc routing protocols

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An ad hoc routing protocol is a convention, or standard, that controls how nodes decide which way to route packets between computing devices in a mobile ad hoc network .

In ad hoc networks, nodes do not start out familiar with the topology of their networks; instead, they have to discover it. The basic idea is that a new node may announce its presence and should listen for announcements broadcast by its neighbours. Each node learns about nodes nearby and how to reach them, and may announce that it, too, can reach them.

Note that in a wider sense, ad hoc protocol can also be used literally, that is, to mean an improvised and often impromptu protocol established for a specific purpose.

The following is a list of some ad hoc network routing protocols.


Pro-active (table-driven) routing

This type of protocols maintains fresh lists of destinations and their routes by periodically distributing routing tables throughout the network. The main disadvantages of such algorithms are:

Examples of pro-active algorithms are:

  • AWDS (Ad hoc Wireless Distribution Service) - Layer 2 wireless mesh routing protocol, LGPL implementation available,
  • Babel, a protocol inspired by DSDV with faster convergence and ETX link quality estimation. Free implementation available.
  • CGSR (Clusterhead Gateway Switch Routing protocol) - CHING-CHUAN CHIANG, HSIAO-KUANG WU, WINSTON LIU, MARIO GERLA Routing in Clustered Multihop, Mobile Wireless Networks with Fading Channel, IEEE Singapore International Conference on Networks, SICON'97, pp. 197-211, Singapore, 16.-17. April 1997, IEEE
  • DFR (“Direction” Forward Routing) - YENG-ZHONG LEE, MARIO GERLA, JASON CHEN, JIWEI CHEN, BIAO ZHOU AND ANTONIO CARUSO, Ad Hoc & Sensor Wireless Networks, Volume 2, Number 2, 2006.
  • DBF (Distributed Bellman-Ford Routing Protocol) - DIMITRI P. BERTSEKAS, ROBERT G. GALLAGER, Distributed Asynchronous Bellman-Ford Algorithm, Data Networks, pp. 325-333, Prentice Hall, Enlgewood Cliffs, 1987, ISBN 0-13-196825-4
  • DSDV (Highly Dynamic Destination-Sequenced Distance Vector routing protocol) - C. E. PERKINS, P. BHAGWAT Highly Dynamic Destination-Sequenced Distance Vector (DSDV) for Mobile Computers Proc. of the SIGCOMM 1994 Conference on Communications Architectures, Protocols and Applications, Aug 1994, pp 234-244.
  • Guesswork - TOM PARKER AND KOEN LANGENDOEN, Guesswork: Robust Routing in an Uncertain World, to be presented at the 2nd IEEE International Conference on Mobile Ad hoc and Sensor Systems (MASS 2005), November 2005
  • HSR (Hierarchical State Routing protocol) - Guangyu Pei and Mario Gerla and Xiaoyan Hong AND Ching-Chuan Chiang, A Wireless Hierarchical Routing Protocol with Group Mobility, IEEE WCNC'99, New Orleans, USA, September 1999.
  • IARP (Intrazone Routing Protocol/pro-active part of the ZRP) - ZYGMUNT J. HAAS, MARC R. PEARLMAN, PRINCE SAMAR The Intrazone Routing Protocol (IARP) for Ad Hoc Networks, Internet Draft,, work in progress, July 2002.
  • LCA (Linked Cluster Architecture) - M. GERLA, J. T. TSAI Multicluster, Mobile, Multimedia Radio Network ACM Wireless Networks, VOl 1, No.3, 1995, pp. 255-265
  • MMRP (Mobile Mesh Routing Protocol) - K. GRACE Mobile Mesh Routing Protocol (MMRP),
  • OLSR (Optimized Link State Routing Protocol) - PHILIPPE JACQUET, PAUL MUHLETHALER, AMIR QAYYUM, ANIS LAOUITI, LAURENT VIENNOT, THOMAS CLAUSEN Optimized Link State Routing Protocol (OLSR), RFC 3626.,,
  • TBRPF (Topology Dissemination based on Reverse-Path Forwarding routing protocol) - BHARGAV BELLUR, RICHARD G. OGIER, FRED L. TEMPLIN Topology Dissemination Based on Reverse-Path Forwarding (TBRPF), RFC 3684, February 2004.
  • WAR (Witness Aided Routing) - Aron, I.D. and Gupta, S., 1999, “A Witness-Aided Routing Protocol for Mobile Ad Hoc Networks with Unidirectional Links”, Proc. of the First International Conference on Mobile Data Access, p.24-33.
  • WRP (Wireless Routing Protocol) - SHREE MURTHY, J.J. GARCIA-LUNA-AVECES A Routing Protocol for Packet Radio Networks, Proc. ACM International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, pp. 86-95, November, 1995. Citeseer: murthy95routing; SHREE MURTHY, J.J. GARCIA-LUNA-AVECES, An Efficient Routing Protocol for Wireless Networks, AACM/Baltzer Journal on Mobile Networks and Applications, Special Issue on Routing in Mobile Communication Networks, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp 183-197, ACM, October 1996

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