Programmable filterless network architecture based on optical white boxes

Marija Furdek, Ajmal Muhammad, Georgios Zervas, Nabih Alloune, Christine Tremblay, Lena Wosinska

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

8 Citations (Scopus)
227 Downloads (Pure)


We propose and evaluate a novel architecture enabling high-capacity, resource efficient and agile elastic optical networks. It is based on sliceable bandwidth-variable transponders and optical white box switches which route optical signalswithout filtering them. Instead of using active filtering components, each node is equipped with an optical white box based on a programmable optical switch that serves as an optical backplane. It provides interconnections between input/output ports and passive splitters and couplers. Due to signal broadcast and the absence of filtering (so-called drop-and-waste transmission), someof the signals appear on unintended links which can lead to an overhead in spectrum usage. To address this issue, we formulate the problem of signal routing, modulation format and spectrum assignment in programmable filterless networks based on optical white boxes as an integer linear program (ILP) with the objective to minimize the total spectrum usage. Simulation results indicatethat our proposed solution obtains a beneficial tradeoff between component usage and spectrum consumption, using a drastically lower number of active switching elements than the conventional networks based on hard-wired reconfigurable add/drop multiplexers, and lowering the maximum used frequency slot by up to 48% compared to existing passive filterless networks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 20th International Conference on Optical Network Design and Modeling, ONDM 2016
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of a meeting held 9-12 May 2016, Cartagena, Spain
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781467399883
ISBN (Print)9781467399890
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Event2016 International Conference on Optical Network Design and Modeling (ONDM 2016) - Cartagena, Spain
Duration: 9 May 201612 May 2016


Conference2016 International Conference on Optical Network Design and Modeling (ONDM 2016)


  • Filterless optical networks
  • coherent elastic transmission
  • optical white box
  • wavelength routing
  • mathematical programming


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