Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Arun K. Somani


Initially, the use of optical fiber in networks was to create point-to-point links. Optical paths were not altered once they were setup. This limits the ability of the network to respond to changing traffic demands. There were expensive solutions to handle dynamic traffic. One could set up multiple paths for additional traffic. Alternately, traffic that did not have a dedicated optical path needed to be received, the next hop found electronically, and then transmitted again.

Current research in optical networking is looking to minimize or even eliminate electronic packet processing in the network. This will reduce the numbers of transmitters, receivers, and processing hardware needed in the network. If a signal can be kept entirely optical, new signal formats can be added to the network by only upgrading systems sending or receiving the new format. Research is currently looking at hardware designs to support electrically changing optical paths, and algorithms to route the optical paths.

The topic of this work is the routing algorithms. We wish to keep cost as low as possible, while being able to recover quickly from or completely hide hardware failures. Several strategies exist to meet these expectations that involve a mix of handing routing and failure at the optical or at the electronic layer.

This dissertation considers the use of cycles or rings in both establishing optical connections in response to connection requests, and electronic routing on optical cycle's setup when a network is built. Load balancing is an important issue for both approaches.

In this dissertation we provide heuristics and integer linear program (ILP) that can be used to find cycles in a network. We report on experiments showing the effectiveness of the heuristics. Simulations show the importance of load balancing.

In the case of electronic routing, we setup cycles in the network which allow nodes on the cycle to communicate with each other. We select cycles so that they have two properties. One property is that all node pairs appear on at least one cycle. The other property is that each cycle contains a cyclical quorum.

The first property allows for a network to support all-to-all communication entirely in the optical domain. The second property allows for quorum based distributed systems to send a message to an entire quorum in an all optical one-to-many connection. The use of quorums makes distributed systems efficient at tasks such as coordinating mutual exclusion or database replication. There is a need for the optical layer of the network to provide support for keeping latency of this type of communication low because as designers have scarified the benefits of using quorums in higher latency networks.

Combined with light trails, cycles based on quorums requires fewer transmitter and receivers than light-paths to support all-to-all traffic.

Copyright Owner

David Weston Lastine



File Format


File Size

120 pages