The adoption of open optical networks (OONs) requires the development of open and effective network planning tools, enabling the use of multi-vendor or white-box transport solutions. Such tools for studying and planning optical networks must be able to take into account the physical layer impairments, including fiber nonlinearity. The use of wideband wavelength division multiplexing in OONs, with channel frequencies extending across the short, conventional, and long bands and beyond, offers a pathway to increasing data rates through the installed fiber infrastructure. However, achievable information rates are limited by the resulting signal distortion due to fiber nonlinearity as signal bandwidths are increased, in particular, inter-channel stimulated Raman scattering (ISRS). In this paper, we describe the nonlinear effects observed in wideband transmission systems, and review recently developed analytical tools, based on the Gaussian noise (GN) model of nonlinear interference with the inclusion of ISRS. Using the ISRS GN model, we assess the impact of fiber nonlinearity on the achievable information rates in transmission systems with bandwidths of up to 12 THz. We demonstrate the use of the model in the optimization of launch power spectral profiles for a variety of dynamic gain equalizer arrangements in a 1000 km standard single-mode fiber link, using particle swarm optimization and the steepest descent algorithm. Such nonlinear models and optimization methods could be applied in OON planning tools, for example, in optical link emulators to estimate quality-of-transmission and data throughput, and in impairment-aware software-defined network control and management.
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