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The Path Computation Element Working Group at the Internet Engineering Task Force is chartered to specify a PCE-based architecture for the path computation of interdomain MPLS- and GMPLS-based traffic engineered label switched paths. In this architecture, path computation does not occur at the head-end LSR, but on another path computation entity that may not be physically located on the head-end LSR. This method is greatly different from the traditional "per-domain" approach to path computation. This article presents analysis and results that compare performance of the PCE architecture with the current state-of-the-art approach. Detailed simulations are undertaken on varied and realistic scenarios where preliminary results show several performance benefits from the deployment of PCE. To provide a complete overview of significant development taking place in this area, milestones and progress at the IETF PCE WG are also discussed.