Abstract

Recently, two different investigators published analytical models to predict the spare capacity requirements of shared-mesh survivable networks. If accurate, such estimators could be used in network planning and technology-selection applications in network-operating companies, displacing or reducing the need for detailed design studies. However, relatively few test-case results involving irregular topology and demands were provided, and some possibly significant idealizations were involved. We have therefore conducted a further series of tests of the equations to more widely assess the general accuracy of the results and to be aware of the possible limitations to their use. We review and implement the equations in question and compare their predictions, along with two well-known simple estimators, to the properties of integer linear programming (ILP)-based network design solutions for three families of protected-mesh networks. In all, 1464 detailed network designs are used as 'truth' tests for the equations over a systematically varying range of network topologies and demand patterns. On this set of trials the new mathematical models were rarely within 10% accuracy and typically had up to 30% error. By dissecting some specific cases we gain insights as to why average-case mathematical models of such a network-dependent phenomenon are unlikely to be reliable. Insights into the effects of network nodal degree, demand variance, hop and distance topologies, and topology dependence are also given.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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