A review of routing protocols for mobile ad hoc networks

Mehran Abolhasan, Tadeusz Wysocki, Eryk Dutkiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

885 Scopus citations


The 1990s have seen a rapid growth of research interests in mobile ad hoc networking. The infrastructureless and the dynamic nature of these networks demands new set of networking strategies to be implemented in order to provide efficient end-to-end communication. This, along with the diverse application of these networks in many different scenarios such as battlefield and disaster recovery, have seen MANETs being researched by many different organisations and institutes. MANETs employ the traditional TCP/IP structure to provide end-to-end communication between nodes. However, due to their mobility and the limited resource in wireless networks, each layer in the TCP/IP model require redefinition or modifications to function efficiently in MANETs. One interesting research area in MANET is routing. Routing in the MANETs is a challenging task and has received a tremendous amount of attention from researches. This has led to development of many different routing protocols for MANETs, and each author of each proposed protocol argues that the strategy proposed provides an improvement over a number of different strategies considered in the literature for a given network scenario. Therefore, it is quite difficult to determine which protocols may perform best under a number of different network scenarios, such as increasing node density and traffic. In this paper, we provide an overview of a wide range of routing protocols proposed in the literature. We also provide a performance comparison of all routing protocols and suggest which protocols may perform best in large networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalAd Hoc Networks
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Mobile ad hoc networks
  • Routing protocols review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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