In this paper, we consider the problem of determining primary and backup paths for survivable optical wavelength-division multiplexed mesh networks. We propose a distributed routing mechanism, which is called Least Resource Consumption Routing, that tries to minimize the combined cost of the primary and the backup paths. The proposed cost model includes the effect of various factors such as mean load, variance of the load on the route, number of converters required by the route, and the length of the route. Further, we model the route cost in such a way that it is extensible to include any new parameters and vary their relative importance. The performance studies conducted for the 14-node National Science Foundation Network and a 30-node topology show that the proposed scheme leads to significant improvements in blocking probability at low and moderate loads. Further, the proposed cost model also reduces the number of converters required to obtain a target blocking performance as compared to some other techniques proposed in the literature.
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