Abstract

Flexi-grid technology has emerged as the evolution of fixed-grid DWDM core optical networks, enabling more efficient utilization of spectral resources and leading to higher overall network throughput. However, it suffers from an aggravated form of the spectrum fragmentation problem that affects fixed-grid networks. This work presents a novel path-based metric to better evaluate the fragmentation of spectral resources in flexi-grid optical networks, which considers that not all links of a path may contain enough free frequency slots and the likelihood that an end-to-end spectral void is large enough to house a connection. Furthermore, two families of heuristic routing and spectrum allocation (RSA) algorithms that preventively attempt to minimize the value of an input fragmentation metric are presented. These are used to evaluate the effectiveness of multiple metrics, both introduced in this work and from the existing literature, via simulations. We find that both proposed families can perform better, in terms of blocking probability and achievable network throughput, than the well-known K-shortest paths routing with a first fit spectrum allocation policy, with one of them trading performance for lower complexity, and that the proposed fragmentation metric outperforms the existing ones.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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