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In this paper, the authors propose a lightweight distributed routing algorithm, called Distributed Load-Aware Routing (DLAR). The proposed protocol adopts a distributed approach to handle the complexity of the satellite system and at the same time provides a hop-by-hop mechanism for splitting traffic load in order to alleviate the problem of congestion that occurs near polar regions. The performance of DLAR is assessed through extensive simulations and compared to the performance of centralized routing schemes proposed so far in the literature. Simulation results document and confirm the positive characteristics of the proposed protocol.
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