This paper addresses the possibility of using traffic engineering in the wavelength domain as a way to improve the performance of optical burst-switched (OBS) networks. With that aim, we detail a heuristic traffic engineering strategy that determines the order by which the ingress nodes of the network should search for an available wavelength for burst transmission, in order to minimize the probability that data bursts going through overlapping paths reach a common fiber link using the same wavelength. By means of network simulation, it is shown that the proposed traffic engineering strategy outperforms the existing strategies in reducing burst loss in OBS networks. This trend holds for core nodes with different degrees of wavelength conversion, ranging from the absence of wavelength converters to the use of dedicated full-range wavelength converters. More specifically, it is shown that using only traffic engineering in the wavelength domain can dramatically reduce burst loss in networks without wavelength conversion or alternatively it can reduce the number of wavelength converters in networks based on shared wavelength conversion. The simulation results also show that by combining traffic engineering in the wavelength domain with the use of the inexpensive electronic buffers at the ingress nodes, the performance of OBS networks with dedicated full-range wavelength converters can be further improved at the expense of a slight increase in the burst transfer delay.
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