Hierarchical Routing Overhead in Mobile Ad Hoc Networks

John Sucec, Ivan Marsic

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Hierarchical techniques have long been known to afford scalability in networks. By summarizing topology detail via a hierarchical map of the network topology, network nodes are able to conserve memory and link resources. Extensive analysis of the memory requirements of hierarchical routing was undertaken in the 1970s. However, there has been little published work that assesses analytically the communication overhead incurred in hierarchical routing. This paper assesses the scalability, with respect to increasing node count, of hierarchical routing in mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs). The performance metric of interest is the number of control packet transmissions per second per node (φ). To derive an expression for φ, the components of hierarchical routing that incur overhead as a result of hierarchical cluster formation and location management are identified. It is shown here that φ is only polylogarithmic in the node count.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-56
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Control overhead
  • Hierarchical techniques
  • Mobile ad hoc network
  • Routing
  • Scalability


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