Abstract

Quantum key distribution (QKD) uses the laws of quantum mechanics to distribute secret keys with information-theoretic security. To realize QKD for secure communications among multiple distant users, fiber-based QKD networks can be deployed with today’s available technologies. Incorporating QKD into existing wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) network infrastructure provides a practical way to reduce the difficulty and cost of QKD networking. Nonetheless, the costs of QKD nodes and QKD links are still considered as the major barriers to long-distance QKD network deployment in practice. In this work, we study how to minimize the cost of deploying QKD-over-WDM backbone networks. We introduce a general architecture of QKD-over-WDM backbone networks. A novel cost-oriented model is defined to elaborate the cost-minimized problem, in which various QKD network components including QKD transceivers, QKD auxiliary equipment for QKD backbone nodes and trusted repeater nodes (TRNs), and QKD links are considered. The physical-layer parameters such as secret-key rate, physical distance, and the layout of TRNs are also incorporated in our defined model. We develop an integer linear programming (ILP) model and a novel cost-efficient QKD networking (CEQN) heuristic algorithm to address the cost-minimized problem. The extensive simulations indicate that our proposed approaches are effective in reducing the cost of deploying QKD-over-WDM backbone networks, where the designed CEQN algorithm is efficient to demonstrate similar to the ILP model. Finally, some open issues in future work are discussed, given that this work only presents an early high-level analysis as opposed to a definitive detailed model.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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