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General purpose routing algorithms for a network-on-chip (NoC) platform may not be able to provide sufficient performance for some communication intensive applications. This may be because of low adaptivity offered by a general purpose routing algorithm resulting in some links getting highly congested. In this study the authors demonstrate that it is possible to design highly efficient application-specific routing algorithms which distribute traffic more uniformly by using information regarding applications communication behaviour (communication topology and communication bandwidth). The authors use off-line analysis to estimate expected load on various links in the network. The result of this analysis is used along with the available routing adaptivity in each router to distribute less traffic to links and paths which are expected to be congested. The methodology for application-specific routing algorithms is extended to incorporate these features to design highly adaptive deadlock-free routing algorithms which also distribute traffic more uniformly and reduce network congestion. The authors discuss architectural implications and analyse area and power overheads of the proposed approach on the design of a table-based NoC router.