Hardness and Approximation of Traffic Grooming

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Executive Summary

Optical Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) is today the most promising technology to accommodate the explosive growth of Internet and telecommunication traffic in wide-area, metro-area, and local-area networks. Using WDM, the potential bandwidth of 50 THz of a fiber can be divided into multiple non-overlapping wavelength or frequency channels. Since currently the commercially available optical fibers can support over a hundred frequency channels, such a channel has over one gigabit-per-second transmission speed. However, the network is usually required to support traffic connections at rates that are lower than the full wavelength capacity. In order to save equipment cost and improve network performance, it turns out to be very important to aggregate the multiple low-speed traffic connections, namely requests, into higher speed streams.

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