G+: Enhanced Traffic Grooming in WDM Mesh Networks using Lighttours

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In this article, a new technique for grooming low-speed traffic demands into high-speed optical routes is proposed. This enhancement allows a transparent wavelength-routing switch (WRS) to aggregate traffic en route over existing optical routes without incurring expensive optical-electrical-optical (OEO) conversions. This implies that: a) an optical route may be considered as having more than one ingress node (all inline) and, b) traffic demands can partially use optical routes to reach their destination. The proposed optical routes are named "lighttours" since the traffic originating from different sources can be forwarded together in a single optical route, i.e., as taking a "tour" over different sources towards the same destination. The possibility of creating lighttours is the consequence of a novel WRS architecture proposed in this article, named "enhanced grooming" (G+). The ability to groom more traffic in the middle of a lighttour is achieved with the support of a simple optical device named lambda-monitor (previously introduced in the RingO project). In this article, we present the new WRS architecture and its advantages. To compare the advantages of lighttours with respect to classical lightpaths, an integer linear programming (ILP) model is proposed for the well-known multilayer problem: traffic grooming, routing and wavelength assignment The ILP model may be used for several objectives. However, this article focuses on two objectives: maximizing the network throughput, and minimizing the number of optical-electro-optical conversions used. Experiments show that G+ can route all the traffic using only half of the total OEO conversions needed by classical grooming. An heuristic is also proposed, aiming at achieving near optimal results in polynomial time ​
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