Design tools for transparent optical networks

Chandra Chekuri, Paul Claisse, René Jean Essiambre, Steven Fortune, Daniel C. Kilper, Wonsuck Lee, Nachi K. Nithi, Iraj Saniee, Bruce Shepherd, Christopher A. White, Gordon Wilfong, Lisa Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Optical technology promises to revolutionize data networking by providing enormous bandwidth for data transport at minimal cost. A key to cost reduction is to increase transparency, that is, to keep a data stream encoded as an optical signal for as long as possible. Wavelength switching increases transparency by allowing different data streams, each encoded in a different wavelength of light, to be independently routed through an optical network. We discuss Bell Labs-developed software tools that help design wavelength-switched optical networks. The software tools simultaneously minimize the cost of the designed network, reduce the time and cost to perform the design, and ensure compliance with engineering constraints. The tools span three levels of abstraction, from routing and reconfigurable add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) choice, to span engineering, to power dynamics simulation. Each level represents a different tradeoff between design scope and level of detail. For each class of tool, we briefly describe design philosophy, algorithms, performance, and resulting value for Lucent's customers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-143
Number of pages15
JournalBell Labs Technical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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