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The desirable features of future optical high-capacity networks include higher stability, reconfigurability and security. In order to enable robust and self-managed automated operation, the network itself should be able to monitor the physical state of the network, automatically diagnose and repair the network, dynamically allocate resources, and redirect traffic. Optical performance monitoring can agilely provide valuable information such that routing tables themselves can dynamically reflect the state of the physical links to the network controller. The key features of the desired monitor include simplicity in implementation, cost-effectiveness, transparency to data formats and rates, and isolation of the specific impairment from the others. We propose and demonstrate novel optical performance monitoring techniques using cost-effective photonic components and artificial neural network-assisted signal processing to continuously monitor multiple impairments and to accommodate different high-speed advanced modulation formats. These monitoring techniques can facilitate rapid identification and isolation of impairments to enhance the dynamic management of the optical high-capacity networks.