Technical Report 2005-039

Mythbusters: Whatever You Thought About MANET Routing, Think Again...

Erik Nordström, Richard Gold, and Per Gunningberg

November 2005

Protocol and system designs suffer from myths that may affect their nature and purpose as well as their features and capabilities. We investigate the myths surrounding mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) and the impact of these myths on the ability to build robust, efficient and simple routing protocols. We find that myths arise because of complexity and ambiguous design and lead to confusing protocol specifications, making the protocols difficult to understand and implement in running systems. For example, both AODV and DSR are confused about their nature as routing protocols and both blur the distinction between routing and forwarding. Building on experiences from implementing AODV and DSR, we dissect these protocols and try to dispel the myths surrounding them. From this dissection, we describe a new routing protocol called Partial Link State routing (PLS). PLS is a synthesis of routing concepts from AODV and DSR with a clearer design description and decoupling of routing and forwarding.

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