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Physical Layer Impairments (PLIs) need to be considered in the Routing and Wavelength Assignment (RWA) process of all-optical networks to ensure the provisioning of good quality optical connections (i.e., light-paths). A convenient way to model the impact of PLIs on the signal quality is to use the so-called Q-factor. In a dynamic provisioning environment, Impairment-Aware RWA (IA-RWA) algorithms include Q-factor evaluation in their on-line decisions on whether to accept a connection request or not. The Q-factor can be computed in either an approximated or an exact way. IA-RWA algorithms using an approximated Q-factor estimation (i.e., worst case) can be very fast and allow for a short setup delay.
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