Underwater acoustic sensor networks (UASNs) have become more and more important in ocean exploration applications, such as ocean monitoring, pollution detection, ocean resource management, underwater device maintenance, etc.
In underwater acoustic sensor networks, since the routing protocol guarantees reliable and effective data transmission from the source node to the destination node, routing protocol design is an attractive topic for researchers. There are many routing algorithms have been proposed in recent years. To present the current state of development of UASN routing protocols, we review herein the UASN routing protocol designs reported in recent years. In this paper, all the routing protocols have been classified into different groups according to their characteristics and routing algorithms, such as the non-cross-layer design routing protocol, the traditional cross-layer design routing protocol, and the intelligent algorithm based routing protocol. This is also the first paper that introduces intelligent algorithm-based UASN routing protocols. In addition, in this paper, we investigate the development trends of UASN routing protocols, which can provide researchers with clear and direct insights for further research.
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