Low Complexity All-Optical Network Coder Architecture
Manley, Eric D.
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Network coding, a networking paradigm in which different pieces of data are coded together at various points along a transmission, has been proposed for providing a number of benefits to networks including increased throughput, robustness, and security. For optical networks, the potential for using network coding to provide survivability is especially noteworthy as it may be possible to allow for the ultra-fast recovery time of dedicated protection schemes with the bandwidth efficiency of shared protection schemes. However, the need to perform computations at intermediate nodes along the optical route leads to the undesirable necessity of either electronically buffering and processing the data at intermediate nodes or outfitting the network with complex photonic circuits capable of performing the computations entirely within the optical domain. In this paper, we take the latter approach but attempt to mitigate the impact of the device complexity by proposing a low-complexity, all-optical network coder architecture. Our design provides easily scalable, powerful digital network coding capabilities at the optical layer, and we show that existing network coding algorithms can be adjusted to accommodate it.