In this paper, we consider four-stage multicast switching networks with different types of nonblocking capability. The goal of the paper is multifold. First, we evaluate and summarize various nonblocking conditions of four-stage multicast switching networks in recent work [Y. Yang and J. Wang, “A New Design for Wide-Sense Nonblocking Multicast Switching Networks,” IEEE Trans. Commun., vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 497–504, Mar. 2005, and F. Yan , “Nonblocking Four-Stage Multicast Network for Mulicast-Capable Optical Cross Connects,” J. Lightw. Technol., vol. 27, no. 17, pp. 3923–2932, Sep. 2009], and then propose a locally-rearrangeable nonblocking (LRNB) multicast switching network as a trade-off for nonblocking capability and network hardware cost between wide-sense nonblocking (WSNB) networks and rearrangeable nonblocking (RNB) networks. We further derive optimized network parameters and present a comprehensive cost analysis for different types of four-stage nonblocking multicast switching networks. Using the terms defined in F. Yan , our results show that for an N × N network, a 4(2 <i>m</i>)-stage WSNB network and a 4(2 <i>m</i>)-stage LRNB network have 16.114 N<sup>3/2</sup> and 12.669 N<sup>3/2</sup> crosspoints, respectively; 4(3 <i>m</i>)-stage WSNB and LRNB networks have the same number of crosspoints, $11.657 N<sup>3/2</sup>; and 4(2 <i>m</i>)-stage RNB network has 7.447 N<sup>3/2</sup> crosspoints.
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