Adaptive routing

Adaptive routing

Adaptive routing describes the capability of a system, through which routes are characterised by their destination, to alter the path that the route takes through the system in response to a change in conditions. The adaptation is intended to allow as many routes as possible to remain valid (that is, have destinations that can be reached) in response to the change.

People using a transport system can display adaptive routing. For example, if a local railway station is closed, people can alight from a train at a different station and use another method, such as a bus, to reach their destination.

The term is commonly used in data networking to describe the capability of a network to 'route around' damage, such as loss of a node or a connection between nodes, so long as other path choices are available. There are several protocols used to achieve this:

Systems that do not implement adaptive routing are described as using static routing, where routes through a network are described by fixed paths (statically). A change, such as the loss of a node, or loss of a connection between nodes, is not compensated for. This means that anything that wishes to take an affected path will either have to wait for the failure to be repaired before restarting its journey, or will have to fail to reach its destination and give up the journey.

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