US 20040109407 A1 Abstract This disclosure introduces a significant extension to the method of p-cycles for network protection. The main advance is the generalization of the p-cycle concept to protect multi-span segments of contiguous working flow, not only spans that lie on the cycle or directly straddle the p-cycle. This effectively extends the p-cycle technique to include path protection, or protection of any flow segment along a path, as well as the original span protecting use of p-cycles. It also gives an inherent means of transit flow protection against node loss. We present a capacity optimization model for the new scheme and compare it to prior p-cycle designs and other types of efficient mesh-survivable networks. Results show that path-segment-protecting p-cycles (“flow p-cycles” for short) have capacity efficiency near that of a path-restorable network without stub release. An immediate practical impact of the work is to suggest the of use flow p-cycles to protect transparent optical express flows through a regional network.
Claims(28) 1. A telecommunications network, comprising:
plural nodes connected by plural spans and arranged to form a mesh network; at least one pre-configured cycle of spare capacity being established in the mesh network, the pre-configured cycle including plural nodes of the mesh network; and the plural nodes of the pre-configured cycle being configured to protect at least one path segment, where the path segment includes at least two intersecting nodes within the pre-configured cycle and at least one intermediate node in a path that includes the two intersecting nodes and straddles the pre-configured cycle. 2. The telecommunications network of 3. The telecommunications network of 4. The telecommunications network of a) identifying all working flows in the mesh network to be restored;
b) identifying the spare capacity of the pre-configured cycle to restore all working flows for all spans subject to failure in all path segments;
c) providing spare capacity along the pre-configured cycle sufficient to restore all working flows.
5. The telecommunications network of pre-selecting a set of candidate cycles for forming into pre-configured cycles;
allocating working paths and spare capacity in the mesh network based on the set of candidate cycles; and
providing the mesh network with spare capacity arranged in pre-configured cycles according to the allocation determined in the preceding step.
6. The telecommunications network of 7. The telecommunications network of 8. The telecommunications network of a) determining a scoring credit for each closed path in the set of closed paths, where the scoring credit of said closed path is calculated to predict the success of the closed path as a pre-configured cycle; and
b) choosing a select number of closed paths based on the scoring credit to be the pre-selected candidate cycles.
9. The telecommunications network of 10. The telecommunications network of 11. The telecommunications network of 12. The telecommunications network of 13. The telecommunications network of 14. The telecommunications network of 15. A method of operating a telecommunications network, the telecommunications network comprising plural nodes connected by plural spans and arranged to form a mesh network, the method comprising the steps of:
establishing at least one pre-configured cycle of spare capacity in the mesh network, the pre-configured cycle including plural nodes of the mesh network; and configuring the plural nodes of the pre-configured cycle to protect at least one path segment, where the path segment includes at least two intersecting nodes within the pre-configured cycle and at least one intermediate node in a path that includes the two intersecting nodes and straddles the pre-configured cycle. 16. The method of 17. The method of 18. The method of a) identifying all working flows in the mesh network to be restored;
b) identifying the spare capacity of the pre-configured cycle to restore all working flows for all spans subject to failure in all path segments;
c) providing spare capacity along the pre-configured cycle sufficient to restore all working flows.
19. The method of pre-selecting a set of candidate cycles for forming into pre-configured cycles;
allocating working paths and spare capacity in the mesh network based on the set of candidate cycles; and
providing the mesh network with spare capacity arranged in pre-configured cycles according to the allocation determined in the preceding step.
20. The method of 21. The method of 22. The method of a) determining a scoring credit for each closed path in the set of closed paths, where the scoring credit of said closed path is calculated to predict the success of the closed path as a pre-configured cycle; and
b) choosing a select number of closed paths based on the scoring credit to be the pre-selected candidate cycles.
23. The method of 24. The method of 25. The method of 26. The method of 27. The method of 28. The method of Description [0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/430,931, filed Dec. 5, 2002. [0002] One of the most interesting recent developments in survivable network architecture is the method of p-cycles. p-Cycles, or pre-configured cycles, introduced in 1998, are in a sense like BLSR rings, but with support for the protection of straddling span failures as well as the usual protection of spans on the ring itself. The most striking property of p-cycles is that they retain ring-like switching characteristics (only two nodes do any real time switching and are fully pre-planned for each failure) but can be designed with essentially the same capacity-efficiency as a span-restorable mesh network. Recent work has even found that with joint optimization of working path routing along with p-cycle placement, overall designs can approach the ultimate theoretical efficiency levels for any known class of restorable network and having the benefit of dynamic, failure-specific, path restoration. This means p-cycle based networks can be 3 to 6 times more capacity-efficient than ring-based networks while still providing BLSR ring switching speeds. In fact for straddling span failures, the average protection path has half the number of hops of the corresponding ring, so it may even be faster on average. Since 1998, the basic theory of p-cycles as pre-configured structures in the spare capacity of a mesh network has been developed, and there have been studies on self-organization of the p-cycle sets, application of p-cycles to the MPLS/IP layer, application to DWDM networking and studies on joint optimization of working paths and spare capacity. Notably, in one study it was found that full survivability against any span cut could be achieved with as little as 39% total redundancy. This greatly motivates continuing work and practical applications of the p-cycle concept. [0003] Concurrent work on cycle covers under the coincidentally similar name of protection cycles should not be confused with p-cycles. The fundamentally important difference is the aspect of straddling spans in p-cycles. Straddling spans on a p-cycle can each bear two units of working capacity per unit of p-cycle capacity and they require no associated protection capacity on the same spans. All forms of ring or cycle covers fundamentally involve equal (or greater) amounts of protection and working capacity on every span and at best (which is what oriented cycle double covers in accomplishes) reach a 1-to-1 ratio between these, for 100% redundancy. In contrast p-cycles, due ultimately to the effectiveness of straddling span protection aspects, yield fully restorable architectures at well under 100% redundancy. [0004] However, all work so far on p-cycles has been done on what can be called “span-protecting” p-cycles. Each such p-cycle protects only spans that are part of itself or that directly straddle the respective p-cycle. This disclosure extends span-protecting p-cycles to path-segment protecting p-cycles and addresses the issue of mutual capacity (which is intrinsic to any path oriented or multi-commodity flow type of recovery scheme) as well as the corresponding operational complexity in coordinating which paths can access which p-cycles. By extending the concept to path-segment protecting p-cycles, protection against node loss for transient flows by the span-protecting p-cycles is also provided, while flows originating or terminating at the failed nodes cannot be restored by any network rerouting technique. A method for simplifying the task of optimizing the network is also disclosed, the method also making it easier to solve the joint optimization problem. [0005] In this invention, the difficulties with devising a path protection version of the p-cycle concept have been largely overcome with the concept, not specifically of end-to-end path p-cycles per se, but of path-segment protecting p-cycles, which provide enhanced protection of telecommunication networks. This approach is also referred to as “flow-protecting p-cycles” or “flow p-cycles”. [0006] Despite the complexity of whole networks based on flow p-cycles, more practical specific tactics are presented involving selective use of a few flow p-cycles in conjunction with other protection schemes. Two such concepts set forward in this disclosure are (i) to support transparent optical transport of express flows through a regional network and (ii) to use flow p-cycles around the perimeter of an autonomous system domain to provide a single unified and out-of-mind scheme for protecting all transit flows through the domain. Another important observation is that flow p-cycles inherently also can protect transit flows against node loss. [0007] There is therefore provided a telecommunications network comprising plural nodes connected by plural spans and arranged to form a mesh network, at least one pre-configured cycle of spare capacity being established in the mesh network, the pre-configured cycle including plural nodes of the mesh network, and the plural nodes of the pre-configured cycle being configured to protect at least one path segment, where the path segment includes at least two intersecting nodes within the pre-configured cycle and at least one intermediate node in a path that includes the two intersecting nodes and straddles the pre-configured cycle. The path segments may be segments of a working path with a start node not connected to the pre-configured cycle. The path segments may be segments of a working path with an end node not connected to the pre-configured cycle. Establishing the pre-configured cycle may include a) pre-selecting a set of candidate cycles for forming into pre-configured cycles, allocating working paths and spare capacity in the mesh telecommunications network based on the set of candidate cycles; and c) providing the mesh telecommunications network with spare capacity arranged in pre-configured cycles according to the allocation determined in the preceding step. The allocation of working paths and spare capacity may be jointly optimized. [0008] Pre-selecting candidate cycles may include ranking a set of closed paths in the mesh telecommunications network according to the degree to which each closed path protects spans on and off the closed path, and selecting candidate cycles from the set of closed paths. [0009] Pre-selecting candidate cycles may comprise: [0010] a) determining a scoring credit for each closed path in the set of closed paths, where the scoring credit of said closed path is calculated to predict the success of the closed path as a pre-configured cycle; and [0011] b) choosing a select number of closed paths based on the scoring credit to be the pre-selected candidate cycles. [0012] Determining the scoring credit may be calculated by increasing said scoring credit by a value for each flow within said closed path that is protected by said closed path, increasing said scoring credit by a larger value for each flow not on said closed path that is protected by said closed path, weighting the value provided by each flow according to the traffic along said each flow and the length of each flow, and taking the ratio of said scoring credit with the cost of said closed path. A mixed selection strategy may be used for pre-selecting candidate cycles. [0013] Establishing the pre-configured cycle may also comprise: [0014] a) recording a list of corresponding path segments that intersect the pre-configured cycle at a node on the pre-configured cycle; [0015] b) recording an identification of the path segments at the node on the pre-configured cycle that is intersected by the path segment. [0016] Protecting a path segment may comprise, upon failure of a span in the path segment, the nodes with the identification of the path segments corresponding to the failed span recorded route the telecommunications traffic along the pre-configured cycle. [0017] In a further aspect of the invention, the pre-configured cycle of spare capacity may be provided by: [0018] a) identifying all working flows to be restored; [0019] b) identifying the spare capacity of the pre-configured cycle to restore all working flows for all spans subject to failure in all path segments; [0020] c) providing spare capacity along the pre-configured cycle sufficient to restore all working flows. [0021] The path segment may be part of a path of an express flow through a network region. The pre-configured cycle may be an area boundary flow protecting p-cycle. [0022] In a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of operating the claimed telecommunications network. [0023] There will now be given a brief description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, with reference to the drawings, by way of illustration only and not limiting the scope of the invention, in which like numerals refer to like elements, and in which: [0024]FIG. 1( [0025]FIG. 1( [0026] FIGS. [0027] FIGS. [0028]FIG. 4 depicts a simple application of the general concept, [0029]FIG. 5 shows the use of a mixture of flow-protecting and span-protecting p-cycles for optical bypass on express flow; [0030]FIG. 6( [0031]FIG. 6( [0032]FIG. 7( [0033]FIG. 7( [0034] This disclosure ends with table 1, which compares the results from simulations performed by the inventors of various restoration techniques on four different test networks. [0035] In this patent document, a mesh telecommunications network (also often called a “transport” network or “optical network”) is a telecommunications network formed from plural nodes connected by plural spans. In this patent document, the word “comprising” is used in its non-limiting sense to mean that items following the word in the sentence are included and that items not specifically mentioned are not excluded. The use of the indefinite article “a” in the claims before an element means that one of the elements is specified, but does not specifically exclude others of the elements being present, unless the context clearly requires that there be one and only one of the elements. [0036]FIG. 1( [0037] As is known in the art, it is the admission of straddling span protection relationships that dramatically reduces the total design redundancy relative to ring-based networks, to the point of near-equivalence with a span-restorable mesh network. Note, however, in FIG. 1 ( [0038] Clearly flow p-cycle designs can access more opportunities for spare-capacity-sharing than the span p-cycle method. Any flow segment that intersects a flow p-cycle can be protected, not simply spans directly on or straddling the cycle. For example, if spans ( [0039] Flow p-cycles can be categorized as the p-cycle equivalent to path restoration with failure-specific stub-reuse. This is an intermediate between completely general stub release and the complete prohibition against re-use of stub capacity that is built into the recent shared backup path protection scheme. In stub re-use the surviving path up to the protected segment is always part of the end to end path in the restored state. In other words the surviving stub path segments are always re-used in a failure specific way by the same path that used that capacity before the failure. Unlike stub release, which can permit the same or any other simultaneously failed path to exploit released stub capacity of failed paths, the stub re-use that is implicit in flow p-cycles requires no explicit real time actions to effect it. [0040] Determining Flow-Protection Relationships [0041] Given a cycle that is a candidate to be a flow p-cycle in a network design, the relation of any given path to the cycle can be either intersecting or non-intersecting. Only intersecting paths are relevant to the consideration of each candidate cycle. A path intersects a cycle if the two have at least two common nodes (which may include the source and destination nodes of the path). These are called intersection nodes. For example, the paths between nodes ( [0042] FIGS. [0043] Mutual Capacity Considerations [0044] Now comes the most complicating aspect of the concept of path-oriented p-cycles. The reason we said “potentially provide” above is that, as can be noted in FIG. 1( [0045] Flow-Protecting Design Model [0046] We can now put together an integer linear programming (ILP) model for design of flow-protecting p-cycle networks. Because we are presently only introducing the concept we will consider the “non-joint” design case where working demands are first routed via their shortest paths, followed by optimization of the spare capacity for flow p-cycle placement. Similarly, the present model assumes “oeo” OXC nodes, or transparent optical cross-connects with a suitable pool of wavelength converters, so that regeneration and/or wavelength conversion needs can be assumed to be met as required at any node. The cost of this is assumed to be reflected in c [0047] The variables to be solved for are as follows: n [0048] Flow P-Cycles:
[0049] Subject To:
[0050] The first constraint system asserts that affected working flows must be fully restored. The second says that the number of copies of cycle j to build is set by the largest failure-specific simultaneous use of unit copies of cycle j. This is like setting the spare capacity of a conventional span or path restorable mesh network to satisfy the largest simultaneously imposed set of restoration flows over the set of all non-simultaneous failure scenarios. The final constraint system says that the spare capacity on span k must be enough to support the number of copies of each p-cycle that overlies the span. [0051] An important simplifying aspect to note about this model (relative to prior attempts at strictly path protecting p-cycles) is that it avoids explicit enumeration of the specific paths or path segments to be protected. Rather, the decisions about which protected path segments are defined come out implicitly from the choice of p-cycles that the solution employs. But since every span failure scenario is considered in the model, all spans (and hence all paths) wind up being implicitly protected end to end, but over one or more protected flow segments on each end-to-end path. This is the key sense in which the more general nature of the flow p-cycle paradigm overcomes the previous problems we mentioned in attempts to directly formulate end-to-end p-cycle path protection. [0052] As an example, we present four test networks that have been used to obtain samples of flow p-cycle-based networks for analysis and evaluation. FIG. 3( [0053] For comparative reference on each test network, optimal span-protection (SP) p-cycle designs, span-restorable (SR) mesh network designs as well as path-restoration designs with and without stub release were also produced for comparison. Notably the SP p-cycle reference designs here were actually produced with the flow p-cycles model by simply defining and equivalent demand matrix having non-zero values only between directly connected node pairs. The span- and path-restorable mesh reference designs were produced by known methods. The reference problems all solved in seconds or minutes at most. [0054] Table 1 summarizes aspects of the results. For each test network, column 1 describes the span-protecting (SP) p-cycle designs, column 2 details the SR mesh designs and column 3 is for the flow p-cycle designs. Columns 4 and 5 are results for path restorable designs (PR) without, and with, stub release, respectively. (The sequence reflects the theoretically expected ranking in terms of increasing efficiency). All designs for each network have the identical working capacity and demand routing. The first row records the total spare capacity relative to the SP p-cycle design needed for 100% restorability against all single span failures. The next row shows the total design capacity cost relative to the SP p-cycle design. The third row shows the corresponding redundancy ratio of the overall network designs. This is followed by indication of the 1/(d−1) lower bound for SR mesh, for interpretive reference. The next row records, for the p-cycle designs, the number of distinct cycles on which p-cycles were formed. Below this is a characteristic measure for each scheme of the average number of reconfiguration actions involved for each span failure. For SR and PR mesh designs it is the average number of restoration paths per failure. For SP p-cycles, it is the average number of p-cycles switching per failure, and for flow p-cycles it is the average number of flow segments deviated onto p-cycles to protect against each span failure. [0055] Interpretation of Results and Significance [0056] The results show that the flow p-cycle method can yield significant reductions in spare capacity requirement relative to the SP p-cycle architectures, ranging from 12 to 25% on the first three networks. The performance differences over the test networks are related to the different network average nodal degrees, d. 1/(d−1) is a practical lower bound on redundancy for any span restoration scheme, and hence also for SP p-cycles, but notably here, we see the flow p-cycle designs edging very close or even below that bound, justifying their classification as a kind of path-restoration scheme. [0057] Other diagnostic results indicate that a design based solely on flow p-cycles may have more distinct p-cycle structures than in SP p-cycle designs, although the differences are not more than twice and one test case (ARPA2) required only eight flow p-cycles whereas nine SP p-cycles were otherwise required. [0058] Operational Aspects [0059] Here we explain at least one scheme by which the flow p-cycle protection is put into effect in real time in reaction to a span failure, and shown pictorially in FIG. 4. We assume that p-cycles would be formed and sustained by OXC nodes under central control to connect the required spare wavelength channels together to create the desired set of p-cycles. At the time a p-cycle j is established through a node x, a list of the corresponding protected flow segments that intersect the cycle at that node is recorded in association with the p-cycle. The Signal_ID of the working path of which the p-cycle protects a segment is also recorded at the node for each span (as a possible failure) on the flow segment. In effect this data sets up matching conditions for node x to know locally which working signals (if any) it should switch into p-cycle j, depending on which span fails on any of the flow segments passing through it. [0060] Upon failure, node x is either adjacent to the failure, in which case it sees LoS (loss of signal), or AIS (alarm indication signal) inserted downstream by the two nodes adjacent to the failure. All working signals bear a unique Signal_ID in their overheads and any time a node inserts AIS, it appends the ID of the incident span that has failed. Thus, at propagation speeds, the failure indication data {AIS, Signal_ID=Z, Span_ID=k} passes through all nodes on the failed path. But only node x will have been “pre-wired” with the matching conditions to associate Signal_ID=Z with locally accessible p-cycle j if an indication of its failure arrives, arising from span k. Thus a logical matching rule can be applied at any node seeing an AIS indication to quickly determine if it has a custodial responsibility to do protection switching for the failed signal. At node y, the Signal_ID is again matched, and the signal is switched off the p-cycle. [0061] Simplified Applications of the General Concept [0062] While it is a useful advance to understand the fully general model of flow-protecting p-cycles, the complexity may be judged higher than desired from a near-term operational standpoint. But an appreciation of the concept actually suggests some simpler specific adaptations of flow p-cycles that may be more practically manageable and useful. One of these is to only consider the use of flow p-cycles only for the important express flows through a network region. Conceptually one can picture an overall network design comprised in part of a set of simple fast-acting “local” span-protecting p-cycles. Logically overlaid on this is a select set of “express flow” protecting flow p-cycles. A particular economic advantage of this selective use of a few flow p-cycles is that the express flows they protect may take advantage of long-reach optical technology for optical bypass of all intermediate nodes on the protected flow segment. This allows the express flow signals to remain in the optical domain through the entire region, but remaining protected, saving considerably over the alternative of terminating on each OXC en route. [0063] Closely related to this idea is the even more specific proposal of an area-boundary flow-protecting p-cycle. This is in the context of multi-domain optical networking. The idea is that within a domain, any local protection schemes could be used, but flows traveling entirely through the domain are protected by a domain perimeter flow p-cycle. The primary advantages of this would again be optical bypass savings and the simplicity of separating all transit flow considerations from the protection of intra-domain flows. The concept is summarized in FIG. 5, where closed loop E represents the flow-protecting p-cycle, or a regional flow protecting p-cycle and L represents the span-protecting p-cycles or local span protecting p-cycles for the network N consisting of OXC nodes. In a long-haul network the “diameter” of the express flow-protecting p-cycles may match the transparent optical reach limit of the path segments involved so wavelength conversion and regeneration can be provided at the flow p-cycle nodes only, with all-optical transmission on the protected path segments. [0064] Pre-Selection and Joint Optimization Considerations [0065] The design of the flow-protecting p-cycles can be improved by using a pre-selection strategy, which also makes solving the joint optimization problem feasible. [0066] The aspect of jointness in a p-cycle design problem will now be discussed. The issue is that one can either first route the working demands via shortest paths (or any other means) and then solve a corresponding minimum spare capacity allocation problem (the non-joint problem), or, attempt to optimize the choice of working routes in conjunction with the placement of spare capacity together (i.e., jointly) to minimize total capacity (the joint problem). An example of the effect of solving the joint problem is shown in FIGS. [0067] A flow chart showing an example of how the non-joint problem is solved is shown in FIG. 7( [0068] To reduce the complexity of solving optimal p-cycle design problems, a scoring credit can be used, which considers not only topology information, but also the traffic demands of the flows that are potentially protected by the cycle. The definition is given as follows:
[0069] where D is set of nonzero demand pairs (i.e., flows) on the traffic matrix, indexed by r. S [0070] Other methods of ranking the candidate cycles may also be used, such as methods that focus strictly on topology of the network and do not consider traffic flows. For example, by removing g [0071] The preceding example is to show that other combinations of variables that describe a network may be combined by those skilled in the art to obtain a ranked list of cycles in a network. The equation may be modified according to the situation that the invention is to be applied, where some factors may have more of an effect on the overall cost or efficiency. [0072] The set of cycles are ranked according to their score, and highest ranked cycles can be pre-selected as candidate cycles for the rest of the problem. While the pre-selection criteria is effective in predicting the success of a particular cycle, it is possible have “too elite” a population of candidate cycles and it may be desirable to dilute the population with a few other types of candidates. The basic framework is one within which many specific heuristic ideas can be tried, all having to do with defining the reduced set of elite cycles to consider. First, some experience with memory and run times may show, for example, that a budget of 10,000 cycles is realistic to work with. The budget can be used up representing any number of mixed strategies for populating the elite P set. [0073] An example could be: [0074] Admit the 5,000 cycles found by the score-based selection above. [0075] Add the 2,000 cycles with most absolute number of straddling path segments. [0076] Add the 2,000 of the longest cycles. [0077] Add 1,000 random cycles. [0078] By itself the first set of cycles may not necessarily ensure feasibility. When choosing only individually elite cycles, there is no strict guarantee that a cycle will be represented that would cover, for example, a very long degree-2 chain connected to an otherwise highly connected mesh. However, cycles in batch three above definitely cover that eventuality. [0079] Once the set of candidate cycles of the network graph have been characterized in this way, the problem can be solved using, for example, an integer linear programming (ILP) formulation, where the objective function minimizes the total cost of spare capacity and (for the joint problem) working capacity. ILP formulations are well known in the art and need not be further described here. This function is subject to: [0080] A. All lightpath requirements are routed. [0081] B. Enough WDM channels (or working channels in general) are provided to accommodate the routing of lightpaths in A. [0082] C. The selected set of p-cycles give 100% span protection. [0083] D. Enough spare channels are provided to create the p-cycles needed in C. [0084] E. Integer p-cycles decision variables and integer capacity. [0085] Applying the pre-selection criteria can be particularly useful in the joint optimization problem, where the formulation generates large problem files that can be difficult to solve optimally if there is no pre-selection. [0086] Two points concerning the impact and relevance of the invention can be noted. Firstly, we note that, in general, the joint p-cycle design is as efficient as previously studied dynamic path-restorable designs in other studies to date. Such high efficiency is a direct benefit in terms of reduced cost or greater revenue from the same facilities, but an efficient network is also inherently a more flexible network because less of its resources are tied up for protection. Secondly, the simple process of pre-selecting candidate p-cycles greatly reduces p-cycle solution times so much that it may be practical to continually re-compute the optimal p-cycle configuration on-line as the network demand pattern evolves. This helps greatly to remove some prior objections to the practicality of p-cycle based networks and enables the vision of a continually adapting background layer of p-cycles. [0087] Immaterial modifications may be made to the embodiments described in this disclosure without departing from the invention.
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