Skip to Main Content
Forwarding decisions in routing protocols rely on information about the destination nodes provided by routing table states. When paths to a destination change, corresponding states become invalid and need to be refreshed with control messages for resilient routing. In large and highly dynamic networks, this overhead can crowd out the capacity for data traffic. For such networks, we propose the concept of weak state, which is interpreted as a probabilistic hint, not as absolute truth. Weak state can remain valid without explicit messages by systematically reducing the confidence in its accuracy. Weak State Routing (WSR) is a novel routing protocol that uses weak state along with random directional walks for forwarding packets. When a packet reaches a node that contains a weak state about the destination with higher confidence than that held by the packet, the walk direction is biased. The packet reaches the destination via a sequence of directional walks, punctuated by biasing decisions. WSR also uses random directional walks for disseminating routing state and provides mechanisms for aggregating weak state. Our simulation results show that WSR offers a very high packet delivery ratio ( ≥ 98%). Control traffic overhead scales as O(N), and the state complexity is Θ(N3/2), where N is the number of nodes. Packets follow longer paths compared to prior protocols (OLSR , GLS-GPSR , ), but the average path length is asymptotically efficient and scales as O(√N). Despite longer paths, WSR's end-to-end packet delivery delay is much smaller due to the dramatic reduction in protocol overhead.