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In this paper we present an algorithm called STPA (shortest time path algorithm) which aims at providing a comparison tool for the evaluation of a bound for mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) routing protocols performance. STPA provides an exhaustive evaluation of an ideal routing protocol. Based on the current position and state of the nodes it can determine factors like: how many complete messages get to the destination, which is the smallest amount of time required by a packet to get to the destination, which path followed each packet, and so on. This values would allow a protocol designer to improve or fine tune his proposal. We demonstrate that the complexity of the algorithm is O(sigma2), that is polynomial with respect to parameter sigma; where sigma corresponds to the sum of all the instants of time during which all nodes are active.