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delay-line optical buffer, optical packet switch, Markov model, fiber delay line (FDL), packet loss ratio (PLR)
Optical buffering is one major challenge in realizing all-optical packet switching. In this paper we focus on a delay-line buffer architecture, named a Multiple-Input Single-Output (MISO) optical buffer, which is realized by cascaded fiber delay lines (FDLs). This architecture reduces the physical size of a buffer by up to an order of magnitude or more by allowing reuse of its delay line elements. We consider the MISO buffers in a network scenario where the incoming packets are asynchronous and of fixed length. A novel Markov model is developed to analyze the performance of our buffering scheme, in terms of packet loss ratio, average packet delay and the output link utilization. Both simulation and analytical results show that the length value of basic FDL element will significantly affect the performance of this buffer. This paper gives clear guidelines for designing optimal basic FDL lengths under different network scenarios. It is noticeable that this optimal length value is independent of the buffer sizes for specific traffic load and pattern.
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