Media Access Control and Resource Allocation: For Next Generation Passive Optical Networks

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The success of the fiber network deployment in the s fueled the explosive growth of the Internet for two decades. There is an ongoing joke among us the fiber optics researchers that we did such a great job on the research and development of fiber communication and at such a fast pace in the s and s that we finished all that we were expected to do in two decades and we burned ourselves out of a lucrative job market with our successes. That thesis seems to be confirmed by the recent job market in this area and the joke does not seem to be so funny anymore, at least to us in the field and particularly our graduate students.

However, I submit that thesis is entirely wrong. The best research and development of fiber networks is still ahead of us. Let me explain. The deployment of fiber communications in the first two decades was so rapid that uncovering the vast capability of the bandwidth of fiber was the first priority and low-hanging fruit. Almost any fiber system, optimum or not, was much better than the technology it replaced: copper. The major emphasis was on deployment not performance optimization. The computer science and network crowd superimposed the Internet architecture on the fiber substrate and the combination unleashed the broadband explosion.

Most of the optical research community was coerced by the upper network layer community into making the speed faster, lower powered, and cheaper and leave the rest of the architecture to the upper layer folks to create. I always find that notions totally confining and not gratifying. I always believed and maintained that a network architecture that is created with the optical hardware properties and limitations in mind together with the right upper layer designs will yield much superior performance.

Future Optical Access Technologies for Flexible Service Deployment

Throughout the years there were a few of us who have conducted our research across all the network layers at once. The first author has been one of my very few fellow colleagues who has always been performing his research this way through feast and famine. This book is an excellent manifestation of this research philosophy and I laud the effort of the authors in committing the contents of this book in writing. Though there are still lots of architectural works to be done in the long haul network, the bottleneck to network performance these days is in the access network.

The optical access network deployed thus far has been rather unimaginative, using. This book opens up the possibility of using the interactions across the physical layer and the upper layers in designing a better media access control protocol and resource allocation algorithm. The book has a balanced combination of optical technology and architecture in the physical and MAC layer and MAC protocol and resource allocation algorithm and performance analysis in the upper layers.

While the verdict is still out on what the future access network architecture will look like, the intellectual discipline as given in this book is a template for the pathway for a systematic approach to optical network research and development. The academic community will benefit from its broad treatment across both technology and architecture. The industry engineer will benefit from the mind-broadening approach to development and come to the realization that the development of the physical layer of the fiber network has been too myopic and confining in the past.

Hopefully, both the academic and industrial communities will proceed with the future research and development of fiber networks using a broader and much more balanced approach as exemplified by this book. Boston, MA Vincent W. The Full Service Access Network FSAN working group, established by major telecommunications service providers and equipment vendors in , has been advancing specifications into appropriate standard bodies, primarily ITU-T and IEEE, through which many standards have been defined and driven into passive optical network PON services and products.

PON, which exploits the potential capacities of optical fibers, has also been identified as a promising future-proof access network technology to meet rapidly increasing traffic demands effectuated by the popularization of Internet and the sprouting of bandwidth-demanding applications. Tremendous amount of research and development efforts have since been made to advance PON. This book is intended to provide a quick technical briefing on the state of the art of PON with respect to, in particular, media access control MAC and resource management.

It consists of nine chapters: Chap. While Chaps. Individual chapters can be perused in an arbitrary order to the liking and interest of each reader, and they can also be incorporated as part of a larger, more comprehensive course. The book may also be used as a reference for practicing networking engineers and researchers. Over the past decade of unprecedented advances in information and communications technology ICT , a variety of bandwidth-demanding applications, including Inter- net access, e-mail, e-commerce, voice over internet protocol VoIP , video confer- encing, Internet Protocol Television IPTV , and online gaming, have emerged and been rapidly deployed in the network.

As the Internet traffic grows, it is becoming urgent to efficiently manage, move, and store increasing amount of mission-critical information, thus accelerating the demand for data storage systems.

Passive Optical Networks Explained Visually

Consequently, the traffic in both public and private communication networks has experienced dramatic growth. According to the sixth annual Cisco R Visual Networking Index VNI Forecast — [2], global IP traffic has increased eightfold over the past 5 years, and will increase 4-fold over the next 5 years.

In , global IP traffic will reach 1. Therefore, to meet the challenge caused by the increased network traffic, telecommunication service providers and enterprises are driven to enhance their networks in providing enough bandwidth for new arising services. Access networks are the last mile in the Internet access, and therefore should be upgraded to meet the demand of increasing traffic growth as well. Broadband access network operators are currently trying to find faster, easier, and more cost- efficient ways to increase the network bandwidth. Basic rate ISDN, i. Ansari and J. However, as the broadband access technologies keep evolving, the definition of broadband access will be changed as well.

Currently, the broadband access can be offered over the following communication media: digital subscriber line, hybrid fiber coaxial cable, broadband over powerline, wireless, satellite, and optical fiber. The following describes main characteristics of these access technologies and analyzes their capabilities in catering future Internet services.


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Figure 1. Each one presents different technical ranges, limitations, and provisioning data rates. The upstream data rate is different for different DSL technologies as well. In ADSL, the data rate in the upstream direction the direction from the subscriber.

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Regional Hub Fiber headend node. Hybrid fiber coaxial cable HFC , which combines optical fiber and coaxial cable, has been commonly employed by cable television operators since the early s [68]. A master headend is usually facilitated with IP aggregation routers as well as satellite dishes for reception of distant video signals.

The various services are encoded, modulated and upconverted onto radio frequency RF carriers, and combined onto a single electrical signal. The single electrical signal is further inserted into a broadband optical transmitter, and then distributed to customers through a tree network of coaxial cables, with electrical amplifiers placed as necessarily in the network to maintain signal quality.

Media access control and resource allocation

Hence, these networks are commonly termed hybrid fiber coaxial networks. Broadband over powerline BPL allows relatively high-speed digital data trans- mission over the public electric power distribution wiring to provide access to the Internet []. Low voltage Medium lines Fiber or voltage wireless lines. Power line modems at subscribers homes. In BPL systems, the downstream data are first transmitted over traditional fiber- optic lines downstream, and then transmitted onto medium-voltage power lines. Once the traffic is carried in the medium-voltage lines, its transmission range is limited owing to the signal degradation in the power lines.

To overcome this problem, repeaters are installed in the lines to amplify the signal strength. To connect to the Internet, utilities can use an optical fiber backbone or a wireless link.

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BPL allows the Internet access in the remote areas with relatively little equipment investment since the extensive infrastructure is already available. However, interference from these services may limit the data rate of BPL systems, and variations in the characteristics of the physical channel of the electricity network and the lack of standards limit the deployment of the BPL services.

Wireless broadband access networks provide wireless service comparable to that of wireline networks for fixed and mobile users [35]. Generally, according to their coverage areas, as shown in Fig. WMAN E.

Jessica Walsh

WLAN E. It can serve an area with radius of 50— m. The IEEE IEEE For satellite communications, satellite systems have a wide range of different features and technical limitations, which can greatly affect their usefulness and performances in specific applications. However, the data rate offered by LEO satellites is limited. LEO satellites are usually used for voice traffic delivery. Geostationary Earth Orbit GEO satellites offer higher data speeds, and are used for television transmission and high speed data transmission.

However, their signals cannot reach some polar regions of the world. As shown in Fig. Owing to the long distance between a GEO satellites and the earth, it takes a radio signal around ms to travel to the satellite and back to the ground. The distance is typically within the range for high bandwidth copper technologies such as wired Ethernet, powerline communication, and wireless WiFi technology. Usually, the fiber is terminated at a box on the outside wall of a home.

Owing to the high bandwidth provisioning, the penetration rate of optical fiber keeps increasing year by year globally.


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According to IDATE [42], fiber-based broadband subscribers increased to nearly 67 millions worldwide within a year by the middle of As service providers roll out new networks in a bid to cope with surging Internet traffic, the future will see a significant growth of FTTx subscribers. Worldwide subscriber numbers are expected to grow to Owing to the fact that optical fiber provides higher capacity than other broadband access solutions, optical fiber will be extensively employed in the access network to accommodate future bandwidth demanding applications, and next-generation broadband access will be based on fiber-rich infrastructure and technologies.

This book mainly focuses on the optical access network, especially the media access control and resource allocation problems along with their solutions. Optical access networks feed the metro and core networks by gathering data from the end subscribers. Generally, there are three main types of optical access networking technologies: point-to-point fiber, active Ethernet network, and passive optical network PON [33].

The link budget is independent of the number of connected users to the OLT because each user has a dedicated port. The simple network architecture and the low power loss eliminate the need of expensive optical components in the network. The key design parameters of PtP fiber include high-density cables, fiber termination and handling, and port density. The port and fiber densities linearly depend on the size of the central office. Typically, operators employ a combination of optical distribution frames ODF to 1 terminate all fibers, and 2 employ patch cords to connect users to an available port at the OLT.

Consequently, incremental growth is realized, and low capital and operational expenses are maintained at low take rates. PtP fiber is future-proof optical access architecture and technology that inher- ently allows open access and unprecedented bandwidth growth.