The flowchart of the hybrid multi-path routing algorithm DAWMNet. After the initialization of a network, the network manager adopts the enhanced Dijkstra’s algorithm to calculate the shortest path to each end node. Once the first shortest route of each node is found, the pheromone tables of all nodes along this route and graph table of this node are populated. Route exploration consists of two sub-processes, namely, pheromone diffusion and pheromone updating. During the process of pheromone diffusion, a node can derive the bootstrapped value. If only a bootstrapped value is present instead of a regular pheromone value for a route, the bootstrapped value is converted to a virtual pheromone. Once a virtual pheromone is assigned to a route, proactive forward ants are sent out to sample this route. That a proactive ant arrives at a node that provides no routing information about the gateway suggests the route does not exist. Afterward, the forward ant is discarded. Conversely, the network manager records the route taken by the proactive forward ant once it arrives at the gateway. In this way, the regular pheromone is assigned on this route. If there is a regular pheromone value for a route, the bootstrapped value is treated as an update of the goodness estimate of this route and is used to replace the regular pheromone on this route when the bootstrapped value is better than the regular pheromone. In this way, pheromones on current routes are kept up-to-date. In this study, pheromone diffusion proceeds as soon as the shortest routes are discovered; it is then terminated when the regular pheromone information of all routes is populated through the process of pheromone updating.