In the current Internet, large flows co-exist with small flows and often consume a significant proportion of the network bandwidth. This imposes a challenge on network resource management. Various hybrid switching architectures have been proposed in recent years, aiming to address this challenge and improve energy efficiency and resource utilization. However, there is still a need for means for the design and dimensioning of resources in multiple switching planes and understanding the system behavior under different traffic patterns. In this paper, we propose a framework that we call the blocking-loss curve (BLOC) to address the resource allocation problem in hybrid switching systems. BLOC can capture the behavior of hybrid switching systems under different resource allocation solutions considering packet loss and request blocking. This framework also allows us to identify the feasible region for resource allocation, which can satisfy both the packet loss and request blocking requirements. An optimal resource allocation strategy may be found based on this feasible region. We also study the application of BLOC to a specific hybrid switching system, where packet switching comprises TCP flows with active queue management, and circuit switching is single granular, e.g., lightpath switching. Numerical results demonstrate how the flow characteristics and system parameters may affect the feasible region and the optimal allocation of resources.
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