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The existing reactive protocols passively invoke route maintenance only when the path being used is broken, and could not acquire shorter paths as long as the current route is available. This paper proposes an active source routing (ASR) protocol using periodic route update combined with gratuitous route acknowledgement messages for dynamically discovering shorter paths and obtaining the up-to-date network topology information. Every route associated with an expiry time will be removed if it has not been used or updated within a period time. Simulation results show that ASR is slightly affected by the mobility under moderate load and provides significantly higher throughput and lower delay than DSR, especially it can benefit from the increased number of nodes. Its overall performance degrades only under heavy load.