Investigation of the tolerance of wavelength-routed optical networks to traffic load variations
This thesis focuses on the performance of circuit-switched wavelength-routed optical network with unpredictable traffic pattern variations. This characteristic of optical networks is termed traffic forecast tolerance. First, the increasing volume and heterogeneous nature of data and voice traffic is discussed. The challenges in designing robust optical networks to handle unpredictable traffic statistics are described. Other work relating to the same research issues are discussed. A general methodology to quantify the traffic forecast tolerance of optical networks is presented. A traffic model is proposed to simulate dynamic, non-uniform loads, and used to test wavelength-routed optical networks considering numerous network topologies. The number of wavelengths required and the effect of the routing and wavelength allocation algorithm are investigated. A new method of quantifying the network tolerance is proposed, based on the calculation of the increase in the standard deviation of the blocking probabilities with increasing traffic load non-uniformity. The performance of different networks are calculated and compared. The relationship between physical features of the network topology and traffic forecast tolerance is investigated. A large number of randomly connected networks with different sizes were assessed. It is shown that the average lightpath length and the number of wavelengths required for full interconnection of the nodes in static operation both exhibit a strong correlation with the network tolerance, regardless of the degree of load non-uniformity. Finally, the impact of wavelength conversion on network tolerance is investigated. Wavelength conversion significantly increases the robustness of optical networks to unpredictable traffic variations. In particular, two sparse wavelength conversion schemes are compared and discussed: distributed wavelength conversion and localized wavelength conversion. It is found that the distributed wavelength conversion scheme outperforms localized wavelength conversion scheme, both with uniform loading and in terms of the network tolerance. The results described in this thesis can be used for the analysis and design of reliable WDM optical networks that are robust to future traffic demand variations.