What is the basic difference between spray and wait routing protocol and other routing protocols? And what is the main benefit of using the spray and wait protocol?

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    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 6 '17 at 23:48

Most network routing protocols are designed for use in fairly stable networks where paths can be known, but they have the ability to change dynamically as the network changes. These protocols are deterministic, and they are optimized for the accurate, speedy delivery of network traffic.

The Spray and Wait algorithm is designed to work where paths may be unknown and may frequently change. These networks are tolerant of delay in delivery of traffic.

The abstract for Spray and Wait describes it pretty well:

Intermittently connected mobile networks are sparse wireless networks where most of the time there does not exist a complete path from the source to the destination. These networks fall into the general category of Delay Tolerant Networks. There are many real networks that follow this paradigm, for example, wildlife tracking sensor networks, military networks, inter-planetary networks, etc. In this context, conventional routing schemes would fail.To deal with such networks researchers have suggested to use flooding-based routing schemes. While flooding-based schemes have a high probability of delivery, they waste a lot of energy and suffer from severe contention, which can significantly degrade their performance. Furthermore, proposed efforts to significantly reduce the overhead of flooding-based schemes have often be plagued by large delays. With this in mind, we introduce a new routing scheme, called Spray and Wait, that "sprays" a number of copies into the network, and then "waits" till one of these nodes meets the destination.Using theory and simulations we show that Spray and Wait outperforms all existing schemes with respect to both average message delivery delay and number of transmissions per message delivered; its overall performance is close to the optimal scheme. Furthermore, it is highly scalable retaining good performance under a large range of scenarios, unlike other schemes. Finally, it is simple to implement and to optimize in order to achieve given performance goals in practice.


  • Does TCP, AODV routing protocols are designed for use in fairly stable networks where paths can be known? @Ron Maupin Oct 22 '15 at 17:39
  • TCP is not a routing protocol, it is a layer-4 protocol. Routing happens at layer-3. AODV discovers routes and creates loop-free paths through the network. When a network has no, or intermittent, paths that change frequently, creating a loop-free path becomes problematic. Spray and Wait strives to solve this problem.
    – Ron Maupin
    Oct 22 '15 at 17:47
  • what is intermittent path? @Ron Maupin Oct 22 '15 at 18:21
  • When you drive to work everyday, you probably take the same route because the road system is fairly stable, but there are occasions where a road is closed, causing a detour, but you can follow the signs and still get to work. That is how traditional routing protocols work, Suppose, however, whenever you want to drive to work, the roads dramatically change as you drive: some roads disappear, new roads going in different directions suddenly appear. Spray and Wait would send a copy of you down each road, hoping that one copy gets to your work.
    – Ron Maupin
    Oct 22 '15 at 18:30
  • is there any similarity between circuit switching or packet switching with this protocol? @Ron Maupin Oct 22 '15 at 18:43

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