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Light trees: optical multicasting for improved performance in wavelength routed networks

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2 Author(s)
Sahasrabuddhe, L.H. ; California Univ., Davis, CA, USA ; Mukherjee, B.

We introduce the concept of a light-tree in a wavelength-routed optical network. A light-tree is a point-to-multipoint generalization of a lightpath. A lightpath is a point-to-point all-optical wavelength channel connecting a transmitter at a source node to a receiver at a destination node. Lightpath communication can significantly reduce the number of hops (or lightpaths) a packet has to traverse; and this reduction can, in turn, significantly improve the network's throughput. We extend the lightpath concept by incorporating an optical multicasting capability at the routing nodes in order to increase the logical connectivity of the network and further decrease its hop distance. We refer to such a point-to-multipoint extension as a light-tree. Light-trees can not only provide improved performance for unicast traffic, but they naturally can better support multicast traffic and broadcast traffic. In this study, we shall concentrate on the application and advantages of light-trees to unicast and broadcast traffic. We formulate the light-tree-based virtual topology design problem as an optimization problem with one of two possible objective functions: for a given traffic matrix, (i) minimize the network-wide average packet hop distance, or (ii) minimize the total number of transceivers in the network. We demonstrate that an optimum light-tree-based virtual topology has clear advantages over an optimum lightpath-based virtual topology with respect to the above two objectives

Published in:

Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 2 )