Multibroad Research Program

Novel Design and Simulation Software Tool for Provisioning and Restoration of  Broadcast and Multicast Connections in Optical Mesh Networks



General Project Description

Optical communications has become the dominant medium for high-speed communication, mainly due to the vast amount of bandwidth available and the very low-bit error rates achievable, compared to their copper wire predecessors. Optical networking has also evolved with the introduction of intelligent optical nodes that can support features such as automated provisioning of optical services and automated protection/restoration capabilities to combat failure scenarios.

As networks evolve to support more bandwidth-intensive applications, and as rich multimedia and real-time services become more popular, next generation infrastructures are expected to support traffic that will be heterogeneous in nature with both unicast and multicast applications (e.g., high-definition television, video conferencing, interactive distance learning, live auctions, distributed games, and video-on-demand, etc.). The routing for multicast (and broadcast) applications in optical networks is achieved by calculating a tree that connects the source with all the destinations and assigning a wavelength for the tree (thus creating a “light-tree”). Splitting in these networks is achieved utilizing optical splitters at all network nodes. Survivability, together with fault protection and restoration, is critical for high-bandwidth optical networks. More traffic is concentrated on fewer routes, increasing the number of customers that can be potentially affected by a failure. In these networks it is essential to have backup mechanisms to prevent the loss of information due to fiber cuts or equipment failures, which may occur often enough to cause major service disruptions. This loss could be even more crucial in the case of the multicast or broadcast traffic where a link in a “light-tree” carries traffic to multiple destinations.

In this project we will investigate the problems of provisioning and survivability for transparent mesh optical networks that support multicast, as well as broadcast applications. Novel provisioning techniques will be developed that will provide solutions with lower blocking probability and lower cost compared to existing techniques. Furthermore, multicast/broadcast protection schemes will be devised that are capacity efficient and fast compared to traditional link and path based approaches (dedicated and shared). The algorithms designed will be incorporated in a software simulation/design tool that can be utilized by network designers and researchers to design and evaluate the performance of core mesh optical networks when such applications are present.  Additionally, a novel optical control plane will be developed that can accommodate the deployment of these provisioning and protection techniques. This software tool and control plane design will be made available to telecommunications network providers in order for their network engineers to better design, analyze, traffic engineer, and operate their optical networks in light of the dynamic and highly fluctuant traffic pattern of emerging multimedia applications and services with different types of resiliency and performance requirements. In this way, more efficient networks can be deployed, thus lowering the cost of the network operation and the cost of the services offered to the clients of the telecommunications carriers and service providers.