In a wavelength-division-muliplexing (WDM) optical network, the failure of network elements (e.g., fiber links and cross connects) may cause the failure of several optical channels, thereby leading to large data losses. This study examines different approaches to protect a mesh-based WDM optical network from such failures. These approaches are based on two survivability paradigms:1) path protection/restoration and 2) link protection/restoration. The study examines the wavelength capacity requirements, and routing and wavelength assignment of primary and backup paths for path and link protection and proposes distributed protocols for path and link restoration. The study also examines the protection-switching time and the restoration time for each of these schemes,and the susceptibility of these schemes to multiple link failures. The numerical results obtained for a representative network topology with random traffic demands demonstrate that there is a tradeoff between the capacity utilization and the susceptibility to multiple link failures. We find that, on one hand,path protection provides significant capacity savings over link protection,and shared protection provides significant savings over dedicated protection; while on the other hand, path protection is more susceptible to multiple link failures than link protection, and shared protection is more susceptible to multiple link failures than dedicated protection. We formulate a model of protection-switching times for the different protection schemes based on a fully distributed control network. We propose distributed control protocols for path and link restoration. Numerical results obtained by simulating these protocols indicate that, for a representative network topology, path restoration has a better restoration efficiency than link restoration,and link restoration has a faster restoration time compared with path restoration.
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