With increasing energy consumption of the Internet, it is now imperative to design energy-efficient network architectures and protocols. Optical technologies have significant promise in improving the energy efficiency of network infrastructures. Future optical backbone networks will be heterogeneous in nature where a single link may carry various line-rate signals. This mixed-line-rate (MLR) network architecture is shown to be cost effective in satisfying heterogeneous traffic demands. In this study, we present mathematical models that can act as references for designing energy- and cost-efficient MLR optical networks. We also perform a comparative study of the energy efficiency of MLR and special cases of MLR design, named as single-line-rate networks (where all the links have same line rates). We explore the scenarios where the MLR networks minimize energy consumption. Finally, we investigate the relationship between energy-minimized and cost-minimized MLR network design.
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