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rdquoThe paper presents a mathematical framework for quantifying the overhead of proactive routing protocols in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs). We focus on situations where the nodes are randomly moving around but the wireless transmissions can be decoded reliablely, when nodes are within communication range of each other. We explicitly present a framework to model the overhead as a function of stability of topology and analytically characterize the statistical distribution of topology evolutions. The OLSR protocol is further singled out for a detailed analysis, incorporating the proposed analytical model. Results are compared against Qualnet simulations for random movements, which corroborate the essential characteristics of the analytical results. The key insight that can be drawn from the analytical results of this paper is that nodal movements will drive up the overhead by a penalty factor, which is a function of the overall stability of the network.