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In Optical Burst Switching (OBS) network architecture, edge nodes assemble bursts and send them to the core network arbitrarily, which will lead to inevitable collisions and low network utilization in the core network. Our objective is to achieve high performance burst transmission for bursty traffic while avoiding the use of wavelength converters and excessive optical buffers. To achieve this objective, we propose a novel optical burst chain switching (OBCS) mechanism, which combines the merits of optical circuit switching and optical burst switching with affordable signaling overhead. In the proposed mechanism, switching unit is a burst chain which consists of multiple non-periodic and non-consecutive bursts in one wavelength. Theoretical analysis for the throughput and queuing delay of the proposed scheme is carried out and is also verified by simulation results. We present extensive simulation results to demonstrate its superior performance over OBS networks with/without wavelength converters.