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A critical review of the routing protocols in opportunistic networksThe goal of Opportunistic Networks (OppNets) is to enable message transmission in an infrastructure less environment where a reliable end-to-end connection between the hosts in not possible at all times. The role of OppNets is very crucial in today’s communication as it is still not possible to build a communication infrastructure in some geographical areas including mountains, oceans and other remote areas. Nodes participating in the message forwarding process in OppNets experience frequent disconnections. The employment of an appropriate routing protocol to achieve successful message delivery is one of the desirable requirements of OppNets. Routing challenges are very complex and evident in OppNets due to the dynamic nature and the topology of the intermittent networks. This adds more complexity in the choice of the suitable protocol to be employed in opportunistic scenarios, to enable message forwarding. With this in mind, the aim of this paper is to analyze a number of algorithms under each class of routing techniques that support message forwarding in OppNets and to compare those studied algorithms in terms of their performances, forwarding techniques, outcomes and success rates. An important outcome of this paper is the identifying of the optimum routing protocol under each class of routing.