A class of routing update protocols that use a distributed shortest path algorithm (SPF) in which each participating router send its neighbors a list of networks it can reach and the distance to each network. Distance-vector protocols are based on the work of R.E. Bellman, L.R. Ford, and D.R. Fulkerson, and so are occasionally referred to as Bellman-Ford or Ford-Fulkerson algorithms (more commonly the former).

Distance is defined in terms of a metric and direction in terms of the next-hop router. These protocols are prone to routing loops.

They include:

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