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This work addresses the problem of optimal traffic engineering in a connectionless autonomous system. Based on nonlinear control theory, the approach taken in This work provides a family of optimal adaptation laws. These laws enable each node in the network to independently distribute traffic among any given set of next hops in an optimal way, as measured by a given global utility function of a general form. This optimal traffic distribution is achieved with minimum information exchange between neighboring nodes. Furthermore, this approach not only allows for optimal multiple forwarding paths but also enables multiple classes of service, e.g., classes of service defined in the differentiated services architecture. Moreover, the proposed decentralized control scheme enables optimal traffic redistribution in the case of link failures. Suboptimal control laws are also presented in an effort to reduce the computational burden imposed on the nodes of the network. Finally, an implementation of these laws with currently available technology is discussed.