The authors of this JOCN article, M. Cantono et al., propose a new method which allows identifying link congestions and restrictions in terms of quality of transmission. In this way, network bottlenecks can be efficiently sought, which is crucial for a network operator who needs to cope with exponentially growing traffic demands. In their article a novel approach called “statistical network assessment process (SNAP)” is described. Based on the network topology graph for each transparent optical link a quality-of-transmission metric is approximated by means of the so-called “incoherent GN-model”. Afterwards a statistical benchmarking of the physical layer is undertaken to identify strengths and weaknesses of the infrastructure under a random progressive traffic load. Two different elastic transponder types have been considered switching either between M-QAM constellations or going a step further by assuming the use of time-division hybrid modulation formats to tune the bit-rate continuously. Based on these models the authors perform a number of different investigations on a pan-European network topology. As a result, poorly used links and inefficiencies in the network loading can be identified and a significant improvement of the average bitrate per light-path can be gained.
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