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An Ad Hoc On-Demand Distance Vector (AODV) is a routing protocol designed for wireless and mobile ad hoc networks. This protocol establishes routes to destinations on demand and supports both unicast and multicast routing. The AODV protocol was jointly developed by Nokia Research Center, the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Cincinnati in 1991.
The AODV protocol builds routes between nodes only if they are requested by source nodes. AODV is therefore considered an on-demand algorithm and does not create any extra traffic for communication along links. The routes are maintained as long as they are required by the sources. They also form trees to connect multicast group members. AODV makes use of sequence numbers to ensure route freshness. They are self-starting and loop-free besides scaling to numerous mobile nodes.
In AODV, networks are silent until connections are established. Network nodes that need connections broadcast a request for connection. The remaining AODV nodes forward the message and record the node that requested a connection. Thus, they create a series of temporary routes back to the requesting node.
A node that receives such messages and holds a route to a desired node sends a backward message through temporary routes to the requesting node. The node that initiated the request uses the route containing the least number of hops through other nodes. The entries that are not used in routing tables are recycled after some time. If a link fails, the routing error is passed back to the transmitting node and the process is repeated.