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Hot potato routing is a routing technique enabling packet routing without storing them in buffers. Instead, this technique continuously transfers data packets until they reach their destination without the packets having to wait or be stored in a buffer.
Any router configured for hot potato will immediately route the packet upon receiving it. Unlike other routing techniques, where the packets compete for the best path to the destination node and have to wait if it's not available, hot potato routes packets whenever they are received, regardless of whether the primary and optimal transmission route is available. This technique is most commonly used in optical networks where messages cannot be stored in any medium.
Hot potato routing is also known as deflection routing.