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As Internet traffic continues to grow unabated at an exponential rate, it is unclear whether the existing packet-routing network architecture based on electronic routers will continue to scale at the necessary pace. On the other hand, optical fiber and switching elements have demonstrated an abundance of capacity that appears to be unmatched by electronic routers. In particular, the simplicity of circuit switching makes it well suited for optical implementations. The authors present what they believe to be a new approach to optical networking based on a paradigm of coarse optical circuit switching by default and adaptive rerouting over circuits with spare capacity.
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