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The spectral and power (I/O) bistable characteristics of active microring (MR) structures are analyzed theoretically. The theoretical formulation is based on the rate equation under the assumption of the z-independent optical power accounting for amplified spontaneous emission. The analysis is performed for MRs in both all-pass and add-drop configurations. The effect of cavity characteristics on the bistable performance are explored. Based on these the merits of the resonant nonlinearity enhancement are discussed and strategies for optimized bistable loops are outlined.