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While the advantages of p-cycles and FIPP p-cycles are well established, there has been no systematic analysis of how much bandwidth they consume in comparison with the classical shared link and path protection schemes. It was recently observed that, even enumerating a huge number of cycles, is not necessarily a guarantee for obtaining good quality solutions with the ILP models if tools for large scale programming are not used. This paper investigates the bandwidth protection costs of p-cycles and FIPP p-cycles in comparison with those of shared link and path protection by applying the column generation technique to solve relaxed LP models for the four protection schemes, and then solving the resulting ILP models. Provably near-optimal solutions allow performing accurate quantitative comparisons on real-world networks.
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