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<p><b>Abstract</b>—An anycast packet is one that should be delivered to one member in a group of designated recipients. Using anycast services may considerably simplify some applications. Little work has been done on routing anycast packets. In this paper, we propose and analyze a routing protocol for anycast message. It is composed of two subprotocols: the routing table establishment subprotocol and the packet forwarding subprotocol. In the routing table establishment subprotocol, we propose four methods (SSP, MIN-D, SBT, and CBT) for enforcing an order among routers for the purpose of loop prevention. These methods differ from each other on information used to maintain orders, the impact on QoS, and the compatibility to the existing routing protocols. In the packet forwarding subprotocol, we propose a Weighted-Random Selection (WRS) approach for multiple path selection in order to balance network traffic. In particular, the fixed and adaptive methods are proposed to determine the weights. Both of them explicitly take into account the characteristics of distribution of anycast recipient group while the adaptive method uses the dynamic information of the anycast traffic as well. Correctness property of the protocol is formally proven. Extensive simulation is performed to evaluate our newly designed protocol. Performance data shows that the loop-prevention methods and the WRS approaches have great impact on the performance in terms of average end-to-end packet delay. In particular, the protocol using the SBT or CBT loop-prevention methods and the adaptive WRS approach performs very close to a dynamic optimal routing protocol in most cases.</p>
Anycast message, multiple path routing, shortest path first, weight assignment.

W. Jia, D. Xuan, W. Zhao and H. Zhu, "A Routing Protocol for Anycast Messages," in IEEE Transactions on Parallel & Distributed Systems, vol. 11, no. , pp. 571-588, 2000.
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