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Technical Report

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Technical Report Number



Optical Burst Switching (OBS) is an experimental network technology that enables the construction of very high capacity routers using optical data paths and electronic control. In this dissertation, we study the design of network components that are needed to build an OBS network. Specifically, we study the design of the switches that form the optical data path through the network. An OBS network that switches data across wavelength channels requires wave-length converting switches to construct an OBS router. We study one particular design of wavelength converting switches that uses tunable lasers and wavelength grating routers. This design is interesting because wavelength grating routers are passive devices and are much less complex and hence less expensive than optical crossbars. We show how the routing problem for these switches can be formulated as a combinatorial puzzle or game, in which the design of the game board determines key performance characteristics of the switch. In this disertation, we use this formu-lation to facilitate the design of switches and associated routing strategies with good performance. We then introduce time sliced optical burst switching (TSOBS), a variant of OBS that switches data in the time domain rather that the wavelength domain. This eliminates the need for wavelength converters, the largest single cost component of systems that switch in the wavelength domain. We study the performance of TSOBS networks and discuss various design issues. One of the main components that is needed to build a TSOBS router is an optical time slot interchanger (OTSI). We explore various design options for OTSIs. Finally, we discuss the issues involved in the design of network interfaces that transmit the data from hosts that use legacy protocols into a TSOBS network. Ag-gregation and load balancing are the main issues that determine the performance of a TSOBS network and we develop and evaluate methods for both.


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