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In this paper, a survivable routing algorithm is proposed for shared segment protection (SSP), called optimal self-healing loop allocation (OSHLA), which dynamically allocates spare capacity for a given working lightpath in mesh wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) networks with partial wavelength conversion capability. Two novel graph transformation approaches, namely graph of cycles and wavelength graph of paths, are introduced to solve this problem, in which the task of survivable routing is formulated as a series of shortest path searching processes. In addition to an analysis on the computation complexity, a suite of experiments is conducted to verify OSHLA on four networks with different topologies and traffic loads. We find that the blocking probability and computation complexity are dominated by the upper bound on the length of the working and protection segments. Comparison is made between OSHLA and four other reported schemes in terms of blocking probability. The results show that OSHLA can achieve the lowest blocking probability under the network environment of interest. We conclude that OSHLA provides a generalized framework of survivable routing for an efficient implementation of SSP in mesh WDM partial wavelength convertible networks. With OSHLA, a compromise is initiated by manipulating the upper bound on the length of working and protection segments such that the best performance-computation complexity gain can be achieved.