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Distance Vector algorithms pass routing table updates to their immediate neighbors in all directions. At each exchange, the router increments the distance value received for a route, thereby applying its own distance value to it. The router who received this update again pass the updated table further outward, where receiving routers repeat the process.
Each router, however, sends only the portion of the routing table that describes the state of its own links. In link-state algorithms, each router builds a picture of the entire network in its routing tables. Distance vector algorithms (also known as Bellman-Ford algorithms) call for each router to send all or some portion of its routing table, but only to its neighbors. In essence, link-state algorithms send small updates everywhere, while distance vector algorithms send larger updates only to neighboring routers.