Reliable Routing in Wireless Ad Hoc Networks: The Virtual Routing Protocol

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A novel routing protocol for wireless, mobile ad hoc networks is presented. This protocol incorporates features that enhance routing reliability, defined as the ability to provide almost 100% packet delivery rate. The protocol is based on a virtual structure, unrelated to the physical network topology, where mobile nodes are connected by virtual links and are responsible for keeping physical routes to their neighbors in the virtual structure. Routes between pairs of mobiles are set up by using information to translate virtual paths discovered in the virtual structure. Route discovery and maintenance phases of the protocol are based on unicast messages travelling across virtual paths, with sporadic use of flooding protocol. Most flooding is executed in the background using low priority messages. The routing protocol has been evaluated and compared with the Dynamic Source Routing protocol and with the Zone Routing Protocol by means of simulation.

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