Having ubiquitous optical monitors in dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) or flex-grid networks allows the estimation in real time of crucial parameters. Such monitoring would be even more important in disaggregated optical networks, to inspect performance issues related to inter-vendor interoperability. Several important parameters can be retrieved using optical spectrum analyzers (OSAs). However, omnipresent OSAs represent an infeasible solution. Nevertheless, the advent of new, relatively cheap, compact and medium-resolution optical channel monitors (OCMs) enable a more intensive deployment of these devices. In this paper, we identify two main scenarios for the placement of such monitors: at the ingress and at the egress of the optical nodes. In the ingress scenario, we can directly estimate the parameters related to the signals, but not those related to the filters. On the contrary, in the egress scenario, the filter-related parameters can be easily detected, but not those related to amplified spontaneous emission. Therefore, we present two methods that, leveraging a curve fitting and a machine learning regression algorithm, allow detection of the missing parameters. We verify the proposed solutions with spectral data acquired in simulation and experimental setups. We obtained good estimation accuracy for both setups and for both studied placement scenarios. It is noteworthy that in the experimental assessment of the ingress scenario, we achieved a maximum absolute error (MAE) lower than 1 GHz in filter bandwidth estimation and a MAE lower than 0.5 GHz in filter frequency shift estimation. In addition, by comparing the relative errors of the considered parameters, we identified the ingress scenario as the more beneficial. In particular, we estimated the filter central frequency shift with 84% and the filter 6 dB bandwidth with 75% higher accuracy, with respect to datasheet/reference values. This translates into a total reduction of the estimated signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) penalty, introduced by a single optical filter, of 0.24 dB.
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