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Service discovery is indispensable to ad hoc networking where establishing a stand-alone and self-configurable communication environment is the main objective. This paper concentrates on designing a distributed service discovery model for service sharing among diverse mobile devices in mobile ad hoc networks. This model is built on top of the network layer of the TCP/IP stack and benefits from the up-to-date routing information enabled by proactive routing protocols that attempt to keep the information in the routing tables of the mobile nodes current. The designed system is based on storing service descriptions in selected nodes that are searched in accordance to a proposed Minimum Distance Packet Forwarding (MDPF) algorithm. In addition to identifying and analyzing the design parameters of the system, this paper studies the delay and traffic performance using analytical derivations and experimental evaluation based on the ns-2 network simulation software. The system is intended to be used in a collaborative mobile ad hoc network environment whereby a mobile node can consume services, share them, or facilitate such sharing by helping other nodes find them.