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Owing to the openness in network topology and the absence of centralised administration in management, mobile ad hoc network (MANET) is vulnerable to attacks from malicious nodes. In order to decrease the hazards from these malicious nodes, the authors incorporate the concept of trust into the MANET, and build a trust management model which is divided into two parts: subjective trust evaluation model and trusted routing model. In subjective trust evaluation model, the credibility of nodes can be evaluated using analytic hierarchy process theory and fuzzy logic rules prediction method. Based on the fuzzy dynamic programming theory, in trusted routing model, the authors present a novel trusted routing algorithm which can kick out the untrustworthy nodes in order to obtain a reliable passage delivery route. As an application of the proposed trusted routing algorithm, a novel reactive routing protocol on the basis of the standard dynamic source routing protocol, called fuzzy trusted dynamic source routing (FTDSR) protocol is proposed. Several experiments have been conducted to evaluate the efficiency of the protocol in malicious node identification and attack resistance. The experimental results show that FTDSR can effectively detect the malicious nodes that guarantee the packet delivery ratio and the network throughput.