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One of the major issues in current on-demand routing protocols for ad hoc networks is the high resource consumed by route discovery traffic. In these protocols, flooding is typically used by the source to broadcast a route request (RREQ) packet in search of a route to the destination. Such network-wide flooding potentially disturbs many nodes unnecessarily by querying more nodes than is actually necessary, leading to rapid exhaustion of valuable network resources such as wireless bandwidth and battery power. In this paper, a simple optimization technique for efficient route discovery is proposed. The technique proposed herein is location-based and can be used in conjunction with the existing Location-Aided Routing (LAR) scheme to further reduce the route discovery overhead. A unique feature of our technique not found in LAR and most other protocols is the selective use of unicast instead of broadcast for route request/query transmission made possible by a novel reuse of routing and location information. We refer to this new optimization as the UNIQUE (UNIcast QUEry) technique1. This paper studies the efficacy of UNIQUE by applying it to the route discovery of the Dynamic Source Routing (DSR) protocol. In addition, a comparative study is made with a DSR protocol optimized with only LAR. The results show that UNIQUE could further reduce the overall routing overhead by as much as 58% under highly mobile conditions. With less congestion caused by routing traffic, the data packet delivery performance also improves in terms of end-to-end delay and the number of data packets successfully delivered to their destinations.