In this paper, the optical composite burst switching (OCBS) technique is proposed to be implemented in an all-optical backbone network to support Internet protocol (IP) traffic. The OCBS is based on two main features. First,several IP packets are assembled in a single macropacket, called burst. Second,the burst contention in an optical switch is handled by means of two techniques,the wavelength dimension and the burst-dropping (BD) technique. Different from traditional optical burst switching, where an entire burst is discarded when all of the output wavelengths are engaged at the arrival instant of the burst, a switch adopting the BD technique discards only the initial part of a burst finding all of the engaged output wavelengths while forwarding the final part of the burst, beginning at the instant in which one wavelength becomes free. The OCBS allows an increase in the switch throughput in terms of number of accepted IP packets because a burst contains a given number of IP packets. We introduce the analytical model that allows us to evaluate the effectiveness of the technique and, in particular, the obtained saving; furthermore,a sensitivity analysis of the saving, with respect to both the optical burst switch parameters and the traffic load, is carried out.
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