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The traffic grooming problem is of high practical importance in emerging wide-area wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) optical networks, yet it is intractable for any but trivial network topologies. In this work, we present an effective and efficient hierarchical traffic grooming framework for WDM networks of general topology, with the objective of minimizing the total number of electronic ports. At the first level of hierarchy, we decompose the network into clusters and designate one node in each cluster as the hub for grooming traffic. At the second level, the hubs form another cluster for grooming intercluster traffic. We view each (first- or second-level) cluster as a virtual star, and we present an efficient near-optimal algorithm for determining the logical topology of lightpaths to carry the traffic within each cluster. Routing and wavelength assignment is then performed directly on the underlying physical topology. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by applying it to two networks of realistic size, a 32-node, 53-link topology and a 47-node, 96-link network. Comparisons to lower bounds indicate that hierarchical grooming is efficient in its use of the network resources of interest, namely, electronic ports and wavelengths. In addition to scaling to large network sizes, our hierarchical approach also facilitates the control and management of multigranular networks.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2008