This work presents a novel approach for dealing with failures and attacks on Transparent Optical Packet Switching (TOPS) mesh networks. The approach is composed of two phases, whereas the first one dynamically dimensions the resources in the network, the second one applies an incremental learning algorithm that generates an intelligent policy. At each node, such a policy allows a self-healing behavior when there are failures or attacks in the network. Finally, the performance of this approach is presented as well as future research lines.
TOPS mesh networks are a relatively new technology for very high data rate communications, flexible switching and broadband application support. More specifically, they provide transparency features allowing routing and switching of data without interpretation or regression of signals within the network, i.e. without opto-electronic-opto conversions. Such networks contain only transparent optical components and therefore differ from the optical networks currently used. In particular, the nature of TOPS components and architectures brings about a new set of problems for network security, such as the design of resilient mechanism for dealing with failures and attacks.
Before explaining some issues regarding design of resilient mechanisms, it is worthwhile making some comments about failures and attacks. As already established by Rejeb et al. (2006), failures occurs due to physical natural fatigue and ageing of optical devices. They occur once and remain within devices until they are repaired. Contrary, attacks appear and disappear often sporadically anywhere in the network, causing additional failures and problems in the network. Based on the previous argument, we assume that failures are subsumed by attacks. Consequently in the rest of the text, we refer to failures and attacks just as attacks.
When designing failure-resilient mechanisms for TOPS mesh networks, it is not only fast-response that becomes an issue but also problems as attack detection & location, and adaptability. In the next paragraphs we provide broader explanation regarding these issues.