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Hot potato routing

(also deflection routing)

Hot potato routing definition

Hot Potato Routing is a network routing method where data packets are passed rapidly from one node to the next with minimal delay — like in the hot potato game.

It differs from more traditional routing methods in several ways:

  • Immediate forwarding. In hot potato routing, each node in the network makes an instant decision on where to send the packet next without waiting for an optimal path to become available.
  • No queuing. In other routing methods, packets may be queued at a node until the best route is available. In hot potato routing, if the optimal path is congested or unavailable, the packet is sent to an alternative neighboring node, even if this means the path is not the shortest or most efficient.
  • Simplicity and speed. Hot potato routing is simple in terms of the routing decisions made at each node, which leads to fast forwarding of packets.

However, just like other routing methods, it may become slow if the network is congested. It keeps the data moving from node to node, but because the packets take longer and more circuitous routes to reach their destination, it still takes more time.

See also: data transmission, data packet, node