Distance Vector Routing Protocols

The name distance vector is derived from the fact that routes are advertised as vectors of (distance, direction), where distance is defined in terms of a metric and direction is defined in terms of the next-hop router.


Characteristics of Distance Vector Routing Protocols: –

A typical distance vector routing protocol uses a routing algorithm in which routers  periodically send routing updates to all neighbors by broadcasting their entire route tables.


  • Periodic Updates

Periodic updates means that at the end of a certain time period, updates will be transmitted. This period typically ranges from 10 seconds for Apple Talk’s RTMP to 90 seconds for Cisco’s IGRP. At issue here is the fact that if updates are sent too frequently, congestion may occur; if updates are sent too infrequently, convergence time may be unacceptably high.


  • Neighbors

In the context of routers, neighbors always means routers sharing a common data link. A distance vector routing protocol sends its updates to neighboring routers and depends on them to pass the update information along to their neighbors. For this reason, distance vector routing is said to use hop-by-hop updates.


  • Broadcast Updates

When a router first becomes active on a network, how does it find other routers and how does it announce its own presence? Several methods are available. The simplest is to send the updates to the broadcast address (in the case of IP, Neighboring routers speaking the same routing protocol will hear the broadcasts and take appropriate action. Hosts and other devices uninterested in the routing updates will simply drop the packets.


  • Full Routing Table Updates

Most distance vector routing protocols take the very simple approach of telling their neighbors everything they know by broadcasting their entire route table, with some exceptions that are covered in following sections. Neighbors receiving these updates glean the information they need and discard everything else.


Distance Vector Routing Protocols

Fig: Interconnection of Routers.

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Distance Vector Routing Protocols

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