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We introduce a new approach for QoS provisioning in packet networks based on the notion of differentiated traffic engineering (DTE). We consider a single AS network capable of source based multi-path routing. We do not require sophisticated queuing or per-class scheduling at individual routers; instead, if a link is used to forward QoS sensitive packets, we maintain its utilization below a threshold. As a consequence, DTE eliminates the need for per-flow (IntServ) or per-class (DiffServ) packet processing tasks such as traffic classification, queueing, shaping, policing and scheduling in the core and hence poses a lower burden on the network management unit. Conversely, DTE utilizes network bandwidth much more efficiently than simple over-provisioning. In this paper, we propose a complete architecture and an algorithmic structure for DTE. We show that our scheme can be formulated as a non-convex optimization problem, and we present an optimal solution framework based on simulated annealing. We present a simulation-based performance evaluation of DTE, and compare our scheme to existing (gradient projection) methods.