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In this paper, we propose and describe a new distributed reservation protocol for establishing lightpaths in WDM all-optical networks. Distributed control mechanisms are preferred and employed because of their advantages over centralized ones to set up virtual channels. The new protocol is a combination of the conservative and aggressive backward reservation protocols, which attempts to improve performance by adapting a reservation to network circumstances. On the one hand, the new protocol uses network circumstances and decides and applies a more conservative or aggressive approach. In other words, the protocol progressively fluctuates between those reservation protocols in order to capture their respective advantages. As a result, in extreme cases it acts exactly like either the conservative or the the aggressive reservation protocol. On the other hand, it considers the characteristics of a network to set a retry-list size. As a result, a retry-list size is not determined by a fixed number but modified based on the multiplexing degree of a network, which prevents imposing ineffective retries on a network with a small number of wavelengths and instead encourages more retries for a network with numerous channels. Therefore, the proposed protocol transforms the static nature of existing reservation protocols into a more adaptive one in order to enhance network performance.