What is Network Flooding? How it Works


Flooding in Computer Networks – Meaning and Definition

At each router, every incoming packet is sent out to all outgoing lines except the route it arrived on. So, when the packets reach destination, they indicate a different route from source to destination. The best of those paths will be selected. This is generally implemented as a static algorithm.

Flooding results in infinite number of duplicate packets, if the necessary precautions are not taken. One way to control flooding is to maintain the hop-count of the path between the source and destination. If the sender does not know how long the path is, it can initialize the counter to the full diameter of the subnet.

At each router, this count is decremented and is flooded onto other lines only if the resulting count is greater than zero. Another strategy is to keep an identifier for each packet from the sources. So, duplicates can be detected and removed. Selective flooding can also be used to reduce the overhead due to flooding. Selective flooding is to flood the packets, in the outgoing lines which are roughly going to the right direction.

Advantages of Flooding

  1. Flooding is the best choice when high robustness is in demand.
  2. Network Flooding is useful in updating distributed databases concurrently.
  3. It has applications in wireless transmissions.
  4. As flooding always chooses the best available path, it can be used to complete the performance of other routing algorithms.

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