Ad hoc On-Demand Distance Vector Routing

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Ad hoc On-Demand Distance Vector (AODV) Routing is a routing protocol for mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) and other wireless ad hoc networks. It is jointly developed in Nokia Research Center, University of California, Santa Barbara and University of Cincinnati by C. Perkins, E. Belding-Royer and S. Das.[1]

AODV is the routing protocol used in ZigBee.


In AODV, the network is silent until a connection is needed. At that point the network node that needs a connection broadcasts a request for connection. Other AODV nodes forward this message, and record the node that they heard it from, creating an explosion of temporary routes back to the needy node. When a node receives such a message and already has a route to the desired node, it sends a message backwards through a temporary route to the requesting node. The needy node then begins using the route that has the least number of hops through other nodes. Unused entries in the routing tables are recycled after a time.

When a link fails, a routing error is passed back to a transmitting node, and the process repeats.

Much of the complexity of the protocol is to lower the number of messages to conserve the capacity of the network. For example, each request for a route has a sequence number. Nodes use this sequence number so that they do not repeat route requests that they have already passed on. Another such feature is that the route requests have a "time to live" number that limits how many times they can be retransmitted. Another such feature is that if a route request fails, another route request may not be sent until twice as much time has passed as the timeout of the previous route request.

The advantage of AODV is that it creates no extra traffic for communication along existing links. Also, distance vector routing is simple, and doesn't require much memory or calculation. However AODV requires more time to establish a connection, and the initial communication to establish a route is heavier than some other approaches.

Technical description[edit]

The AODV Routing Protocol uses an on-demand approach for finding routes, that is, a route is established only when it is required by a source node for transmitting data packets. It employs destination sequence numbers to identify the most recent path. The major difference between AODV and Dynamic Source Routing (DSR) stems out from the fact that DSR uses source routing in which a data packet carries the complete path to be traversed. However, in AODV, the source node and the intermediate nodes store the next-hop information corresponding to each flow for data packet transmission. In an on-demand routing protocol, the source node floods the RouteRequest packet in the network when a route is not available for the desired destination. It may obtain multiple routes to different destinations from a single RouteRequest. The major difference between AODV and other on-demand routing protocols is that it uses a destination sequence number (DestSeqNum) to determine an up-to-date path to the destination. A node updates its path information only if the DestSeqNum of the current packet received is greater or equal than the last DestSeqNum stored at the node with smaller hopcount.

A RouteRequest carries the source identifier (SrcID), the destination identifier (DestID), the source sequence number (SrcSeqNum), the destination sequence number (DestSeqNum), the broadcast identifier (BcastID), and the time to live (TTL) field. DestSeqNum indicates the freshness of the route that is accepted by the source. When an intermediate node receives a RouteRequest, it either forwards it or prepares a RouteReply if it has a valid route to the destination. The validity of a route at the intermediate node is determined by comparing the sequence number at the intermediate node with the destination sequence number in the RouteRequest packet. If a RouteRequest is received multiple times, which is indicated by the BcastID-SrcID pair, the duplicate copies are discarded. All intermediate nodes having valid routes to the destination, or the destination node itself, are allowed to send RouteReply packets to the source. Every intermediate node, while forwarding a RouteRequest, enters the previous node address and its BcastID. A timer is used to delete this entry in case a RouteReply is not received before the timer expires. This helps in storing an active path at the intermediate node as AODV does not employ source routing of data packets. When a node receives a RouteReply packet, information about the previous node from which the packet was received is also stored in order to forward the data packet to this next node as the next hop toward the destination.

Advantages and disadvantages[edit]

The main advantage of this protocol is having routes established on demand and that destination sequence numbers are applied to find the latest route to the destination. The connection setup delay is lower. One disadvantage of this protocol is that intermediate nodes can lead to inconsistent routes if the source sequence number is very old and the intermediate nodes have a higher but not the latest destination sequence number, thereby having stale entries. Also, multiple RouteReply packets in response to a single RouteRequest packet can lead to heavy control overhead. Another disadvantage of AODV is unnecessary bandwidth consumption due to periodic beaconing.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Perkins, C.; Belding-Royer, E.; Das, S. (July 2003). Ad hoc On-Demand Distance Vector (AODV) Routing. IETF. RFC 3561. Retrieved 2010-06-18.