Abstract The paper deals with the adaptive routing problem in virtual circuit communication networks. A newly arriving call at a source node is routed along the minimum length path to its destination node. All packets belonging to this call follow the same path through the network. The superiority of a quadratic state-dependent routing algorithm to the shortest-queue routing algorithm is shown via simulation. The sooner the network state information becomes available to the router and the more often that this information is updated, the smaller the achieved average packet delay. Also, the age of this information at the router should be less or at least comparable to (but not extremely larger than) the mean interarrival time of virtual circuits.