Abstract: Mobile nodes in a network often create link changes that demand reconstruction of the already identified routes. A routing algorithm is consistently challenged with route discovery and successive route maintenance. The Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) is a probabilistic technique designed for solving computational problems and which can also be adopted to find optimal paths in wireless ad hoc networks. Many researchers have take inspiration from the foraging behavior of the ants, its optimal route finding capability and the fact that it lays down a chemical substance called pheromone along the path of their movement which has a limited time before it evaporates. In this paper we bring out the characteristics and analyze the performance of a proposed Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) based ad hoc routing protocol and compare it with well-known ad hoc routing protocols. The performance and comparison is made through evaluating network parameters like average end to end delay, packet delivery ratio and throughput, residual energy of a network and is simulated by Network Simulator 2 (NS2).

Keywords: Ant Colony Optimization, Routing, MANETs, Mobile Ad Hoc Networks, packet delivery fraction, average end-to-end delay, routing overhead.