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Although far from optimal, flooding is an in- dispensable message dissemination technique for network- wide broadcast within mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs). As such, the plain flooding algorithm provokes a high number of unnecessary packet rebroadcasts, causing contention, packet collisions and ultimately wasting precious limited bandwidth. We explore the phase transition phenomenon observed in percolation theory and random graphs as a basis for defining probabilistic flooding algorithms. By considering ideal and realistic models, we acquire a better understanding of the factors that determine phase transition, the consequences of the passage to realistic MANET conditions and to what extent we may benefit from probabilistic flooding in real MANET networks.