The paper is to have a distributed routing algorithm to find, at each node $i$, the successor set for destination $j$ such that the routing path is loop-free at every instant even the link costs are changing with time. Such algorithm turns out finds the multipath route with unequal length.

The successor set of node $i$ has the property that the shortest distance of any node $k$ in the set to destination $j$ is strictly less than that of node $i$ to node $j$. Therefore, this avoids loops. The algorithm works as follows

  • Every node knows its neighbours, thus the shortest distance from itself to the neighbour
  • Every node tells its shortest-distance knowledge to its neighbours
  • When a node receive the shortest-distance data from its neighbours, it learns more about the topology. thus also updating its topology knowledge
  • When a node $i$ knows multiple ways to reach the same node $j$, it runs Dijkstra’s algorithm to find the shortest path
  • Since shortest path information is updated in node $i$, it can send an updated message to its neighbours

In the paper, it assumes the distance may change with time. Therefore, when the shortest path distance at node $k$ is calculated and told node $i$, the distance may be updated and this may potentially cause loop. Thus additional constraints are needed.

When node $i$ wants to forward packets to node $j$, it finds a successor set, which is a subset of its neighbours. For any node of the successor set, its distance to node $j$ is strictly less than the feasible distance (an estimate of actual distance) of node $i$ to node $j$. Thus the routing is loop free.

Bibliographic data

   title = "MPATH: a loop-free multipath routing algorithm",
   author = "S. Vutukurya and J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves",
   journal = "Elsevier Microprocessors and Microsystems",
   volume = "24",
   pages = "319--327",
   year = "2000",