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We explore network design principles for next-generation all-optical wide-area networks, employing light-trail technology. Light-trail is a light-wave circuit that allows multiple nodes to share the optical bandwidth through the inclusion of simple but flexible hardware overlaid with a lightweight control protocol. We develop light-trails as a novel and amenable control and management solution to address IP-centric communication problems at the optical layer. We propose optical switch architectures that allow seamless integration of lightpath and light-trail networks, and assess their costs and capabilities. We formulate the static light-trail RWA problem as an integer linear program. Since this programming problem is computationally intractable, we split it into two subproblems: (a) trail routing, for which we provide three heuristics, (b) wavelength assignment, for which we use the largest first heuristic available in literature. The objective of our design is to minimize the optical layer and electronic layer costs in terms of the number of wavelengths and communication equipment required. We illustrate our approach by comparing the performance of our trail design heuristics on some test networks.
Date of Conference: 3-7 Oct. 2005