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In this article traffic-engineering issues regarding network survivability, traffic grooming, impairment-aware routing, virtual-topology engineering, and coordination among multiple layers of network architecture will be reviewed for next-generation optical networks based on wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM). Due to the recent progress and development of WDM technology, increasing traffic demands can be readily accommodated in the next-generation optical networks. In spite of the huge amount of capacity (e.g., OC-192) provided by a WDM channel, enhanced network services and network performance improvement can only be achieved with efficient traffic-engineering mechanisms. The fault-tolerant function is essential in order to provide seamless services to users by protecting their traffic against failures in the optical network because many connections can be carried on a fiber. Because the capacity of a WDM channel is very large, its bandwidth may not be efficiently utilized by a single connection. Hence, low-rate user connections need to be efficiently aggregated through the traffic-grooming scheme. An intelligent routing algorithm is especially necessary in the optical network where signal impairments due to device imperfections might degrade the signal quality. In addition, the virtual network connectivity (topology) should be flexibly maintained such that dynamic changes to the traffic demands can be easily absorbed, which can be implemented by the virtual-topology engineering method in a WDM network. As the dominant usage of Internet protocol (IP) of the Internet is expected to reside directly above the WDM layer in the future network, the coordinated traffic-engineering scheme should be deliberately designed for the multi-layer network by judiciously choosing where to put many overlapping functions in the different network layers.
Date of Publication: Third Quarter 2004