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Dynamic Source Routing (DSR). http://www.monarch.cs.rice.edu/ Research by David B. Johnson, et al. The problem. A. B. A wants to send a message to B. But they are not within direct radio range of each other. The Solution. A. B. They use their neighbours to forward the message.

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dynamic source routing dsr

Dynamic Source Routing(DSR)


Research by David B. Johnson, et al

the problem
The problem



A wants to send a message to B.

But they are not within direct radio range of each other.


The Solution



They use their neighbours to forward the message.

how do neighbours know where to send
How do neighbours know where to send?

Or, more precisely, which of the neighbours should forward the message?

DSR is a mechanism for dynamically discovering the route that any message in the network should take.

It is composed of two mechanism:

  • Route Discovery
  • Route Maintenance
route discovery
Route Discovery

A sends a ROUTE REQUEST to all neighbours

Each neighbour forwards this while adding itself to the path

Now E knows the path from A to E.











In a bidirectional network, E can send a ROUTE REPLY in the reverse direction to let A know the path

For unidirectional links, E will have to initiate a similar Route Discovery process to return the path information to A


The initiator caches the responses to ROUTE REQUEST

Subsequent data packets are buffered till the ROUTE REPLY arrives, or if it is taking too long, the initiator starts another ROUTE REQUEST. (exponential backoff)

route maintenance
Route Maintenance

Saved msg

Each node transmitting the data packet is responsible for confirming that the packet has completed the next hop.

This may involve retransmissions.

If multiple retransmissions fail, a ROUTE ERROR message is sent to the initiator indicating that the particular link has problems. The source can now delete the path from its cache.







caching overheard routes
Caching Overheard Routes

The route in any packet that a node hears (or overhears) can be added to the node’s cache of routes.

This may not be very useful when the links are uni-directional.

using cached routes
Using Cached Routes

When a node receives a ROUTE REQUEST for which it is not the target, it searches its cache.

If found, the path can be returned to the initiator without forwarding the ROUTE REQUEST.







At node F

Route: ABCF

Cache: CDE


If we simply concatenate the routes, we would have a loop.

In such cases, F will could eliminate the loop and send a REPLY.

But this would mean that any ERRORs in CD and DE would not propagated to F and F’s cache will be stale.

In such cases, F simply disregards the REQUEST.

route reply storms

Cache: BE


Cache: CE




Cache: DE


A sends REQUEST for E to its neighbours.

B, C and D receive it at almost the same time.

All of them have the path in cache.

All of them reply at the same time.

Their REPLY packets will collide at A.

But we would still like to be aware of these paths in case some of the others are not available.

preventing reply storms
Preventing REPLY Storms

Each intermediate node should delay sending its REPLY for a random period d

d = H x ( h – 1 + r)

h is the length in number of hops for the route to be returned in this node’s REPLY

r is a random number between 0 and 1

H is a small constant delay (at least twice the max wireless link propagation delay) to be introduced per hop.

preventing reply storms1
Preventing REPLY Storms

During this delay period, the node listens for other REPLYs.

If a data packet received by this node during the delay period uses a source route of length less than or equal to h, this node may infer that the initiator has already received a REPLY with an equally good or better route.

If so, the node does not send its REPLY.




Consider a case where the initiator is sort-of in the center of the network.

A broadcasts ROUTE REQUESTs to all neighbours.

Each neighbour propagates it further.

And even further than required.

route request hop limits
ROUTE REQUEST hop limits…

One way to avoid this is to use hop limits for REQUESTS.

We can use an expanding ring search for the target, with increasing hop limits till the target is found.

Of course, this will increase the latency of discovery.

packet salvaging
Packet Salvaging

After sending a ROUTE ERROR message, a node may attempt to salvage the data packet that caused the ROUTE ERROR.

It can search its own cache for an alternate route to the destination of the packet.

automatic route shortening
Automatic Route Shortening


Suppose the ROUTE to be used is ABCD.

Here C hears A’s transmission to B.

C now knows that ACD is a better path.

C now sends a gratuitous ROUTE REPLY to A specifying the better path.




increased spread of route error messages
Increased Spread of ROUTE ERROR messages

When a source receives an ERROR for a data packet that is originated, it propagates it to its neighbours by piggybacking it on to its next ROUTE REQUEST.

Thus, stale cache entries in the neighbours can also be avoided.

caching negative information
Caching Negative Information

DSR can also benefit from caching details of what routes or links will not work.

These entries would also need some sort of timeout so that the link is not avoided once it comes up.

This sort of caching would also be helpful when link quality is highly variable. The link would not be considered immediately when it comes back up.

One difficult implementation issue in this: what value of timeout do we use?

dynamic source routing
Dynamic Source Routing

Detects routes between source and destination dynamically

Can be used in networks with bidirectional as well as unidirectional links.

Can handle mobility of nodes.