Recognizing the difficulties in buffering or slowing data in all-optical networks, optical packet switching (OPS) may be viable if buffers are small, at the cost of some inefficiency in link utilization. In this paper, the authors consider a new single-node OPS model that focuses on a set of output wavelengths in a certain link and consider the set of input wavelengths that transmits packets competing for the set of output wavelengths. Using this model, an exact solution and an accurate and scalable approximation, based on reduction of the state-space to a single direction, are provided for packet-loss probability and mean queueing delay. Tradeoffs between optical buffering capacity and link utilization for cases with and without wavelength conversion are studied and discussed.
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