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Network control planes have made an implicit assumption that the switching devices in a network are symmetric. In wavelength-switched optical networks even the most basic switching element, the reconfigurable add-drop multiplexer, is highly asymmetric. This paper presents a model of optical switching subsystems for use in generalized multiprotocol label switching (GMPLS), route selection, and wavelength assignment. The model covers a large class of switching subsystems without internal wavelength converters. The model is applied to a number of common optical technologies, and a compact encoding for use in the optical control plane is furnished along with a method for deriving a simplified graph representation.