What is a Routing Algorithm : Working and Its Types

Nowadays, optimization of anything is most important because optimization in full strength is nothing but improving. In networking, there are different kinds of networks which use different hardware units like a router, switches, gateway, bridges, firewalls, etc. But , when we use these hardware, it doesn’t have any logic to work but we have to add some program to work. In the world of computers, any procedure can be illustrated through step by step, which is called an algorithm. Similarly, the routing algorithm is a step by step procedure for transferring data from one location to another over the network. This article discusses an overview of the routing algorithm. But before discussing this topic, one should know the definition of the router. This is one kind of device which connects with the internet for transferring data packets above the computer network. Generally, a router is used to forward data packet forwarding as well as routing.

What is Routing Algorithm?

Definition: The process which is used to establish the routes by following the data packets to reach the destination. It is a set of step-by-step processes used for directing the traffic of the Internet efficiently. Once a data packet leaves from the source, then several paths can supply to its destination. This kind of algorithm mainly determines the best lane to take mathematically.

Routing Algorithm

There are different kinds of methods are used for different routing algorithms for deciding the best lane, For instance, an algorithm of distance vector analyzes a graph of all accessible routes through each node to determine the charge of traveling for every instant neighbor. This data can be collected for each node to generate a distance table to determine the finest lane between any two nodes. In this method, a routing table can be created to enter the information of routes followed by data packets.

In the OSI Model (Open Systems Interconnection), the routing can exist above the network layer. This is the third layer in the OSI model. So it identifies the finest lane over the network to transmit data packets from source to destination.

Routing Algorithm Working

The routing algorithm mainly works to progress the network quality. By using this algorithm, one can decide the best route suitable for the network. This algorithm works on particular protocols. The route can be calculated using different methods of algorithms. Based on the network type as well as its application, each algorithm can be applied. There are numerous properties there for this algorithm like stability, correctness, efficiency, simplicity, fairness, and robustness.

The routing algorithm plays a significant role in connecting different systems to communicate over the network. The main responsibilities of the router are recognizing every device, its structure, presence & transmit packets. By using these algorithms, the data can be transmitted in a fraction of seconds over the network, data can be transferred securely, and the quality of data can be maintained.


Types of Routing Algorithm

Routing algorithms are classified into two types which include the following.

  • Adaptive Algorithms
  • Non-Adaptive Algorithms

Adaptive Algorithms

Adaptive algorithms are used to change the decisions of routing when traffic load & network topology changes. So these changes will be reflected within the topology & network traffic. This is known as dynamic routing which will make use of dynamic data like load, current topology, & delay for selecting routes. The parameter optimizations are distance, no. of hops & expected transit time. Further, these algorithms are classified into three types which include the following.

  • Isolated
  • Centralized
  • Distributed

Isolated Algorithm

In this kind of algorithm, every node is used to make its routing decisions using the data from other nodes. The nodes which are transmitting don’t include any data regarding particular link status. The main drawback of this algorithm is, the data packet may be transmitted through a packet network. The best examples of this algorithm are backward learning and hot potato routing.


In the centralized method, a node has whole information regarding the network so that it can make all the decisions of routing. The main benefit of this algorithm is, it requires the only single node to keep the data of the complete network. The main drawback of this is, if the middle node goes down, then the whole network has can to be redone.


In this method, the node receives information from its neighbors and then decides to route the packets. The disadvantage is that the packet may be delayed if there is a change in between interval in which it receives information and sends the packet.

Non-Adaptive Algorithms

Non-adaptive algorithms do not modify their routing decisions when they have been preferred. This kind of algorithm is also called static routing because the route which is used can be calculated in advance & downloaded to routers once the router is booted. These types of algorithms are classified into two types which include the following.


This algorithm uses the technique where each incoming packet can be transmitted on each outgoing line excluding from where it appears. The main drawback of this is, the packets may travel in the loop & consequently a node may collect carbon copy packets. To overcome this problem, sequence numbers, spanning tree & hop count are used.

Random Walk

In this type of algorithm, data packets are transmitted through the node by node or host by host randomly to one of its neighbors. This method is extremely strong which is frequently executed by transmitting data packets over the network link which is queued least.


1). What is the function of the routing algorithm?

By using this Internet traffic can be directed efficiently

2). What is routing?

It is a method of transmitting packets in a network from host to host.

3). What are the types of routing?

They are static, default, and dynamic.

4). What are the benefits of static routing?

By using this, the little load can be caused on the CPU of the router & generates less traffic to other routers

5). What are the network types?


Thus, this is all about an overview of the routing algorithm. By using this method, the process of routes can be established so that data packets can follow to arrive at the destination. In this method, a routing table can be formed to include the data about routes. There are different types of routing algorithms are used to decide the route for an incoming data packet to transmit from source to destination proficiently. Here is a question for you, what is the Routing algorithm in a computer network?