Multi-layer traffic engineering in optical networks under physical layer impairments
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We study Traffic Engineering (TE) in Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)/Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) networks and propose a multi-layer TE method. MPLS provides powerful TE features for IP networks and is widely deployed in backbone networks. WDM can increase the transmission capacity of optical fibers to tremendous amounts, therefore it has been the dominant multiplexing technology used in the optical layer. The proposed multi-layer TE solution facilitates efficient use of network resources where the TE mechanisms in the MPLS and WDM layers coordinate. We consider a static WDM layer and available traffic expectation information. The TE problem arising in the considered scenario is the Virtual Topology Design (VTD) problem, which involves the decision of WDM lightpaths to be established, calculation of MPLS Label Switched Paths (LSPs) on the resulting virtual topology, and calculation of the routes and wavelengths in the physical topology that correspond to the lightpaths in the virtual topology. We assume a daily traffic pattern changing with the time of day and aim to design a static virtual topology that satisfies as much of the offered traffic as possible, over the whole day. In our proposed solution, the multi-layer VTD problem is solved by decomposing it into two sub-problems, each involving in a single layer. The decomposition approach is used in the thesis due to the huge computational burden of the combined solution for real-life networks. The sub-problem in the MPLS layer is the design of the lightpath topology and calculation of the LSP routes on this virtual topology. This problem is known to be NP-complete and finding its optimum solution is possible only for small networks. We propose a Tabu Search based heuristic method to solve two versions of this problem, resource oriented and performance oriented. Integer Linear Programming (ILP) relaxations are also developed for obtaining upper and lower bounds. We show that the gap between the produced solutions and the lower and upper bounds are around 10% and 7% for the resource and performance oriented problems, respectively. Since the actual traffic can show deviations from the expected values, we also developed an MPLS layer online TE method to compensate the instantaneous fluctuations of the traffic flows. In the proposed method, the LSPs are rerouted dynamically using a specially designed cost function. Our numerical studies show that using the designed cost function results in much lower blockings than using commonly used Widest Shortest Path First and Available Shortest Path First approaches in the literature. The corresponding sub-problem of the multi-layer VTD problem in the WDM layer is the Static Lightpath Establishment (SLE) problem. Along with the capacity and wavelength continuity constraints, we also consider the Bit Error Rate (BER) constraints due to physical layer impairments such as attenuation, polarization mode dispersion and switch crosstalk. This problem is NP-complete even without the BER constraints. We propose a heuristic solution method and develop an exact ILP formulation to evaluate the performance of the proposed method for small problem sizes. Our proposed method produces solutions close to the optimum solutions for the cases in which the ILP formulation could be solved to optimality. Then, these solution methods for the single layer sub-problems are combined in a multi-layer TE scheme to solve the VTD problem in both layers jointly. The proposed TE scheme considers the physical layer limitations and optical impairments. This TE scheme can be applied by keeping each layer’s information hidden from the other layer, but our simulations show that it can produce more effective and efficient solutions when the physical layer topology information is shared with the MPLS layer. We also investigate the effect of non-uniform optical components in terms of impairment characteristics. The numerical results show that more traffic can be routed when all the components in the network have moderate impairment characteristics, compared to the case in which some components have better and some have worse impairment characteristics.
Physical Layer Impairments
Virtual Topology Design
Lightpath Establishment Problem