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  1. The high reliability required by many future-generation network services can be enforced by proper resource assignments by means of logical partitions, i.e., network slices, applied in optical metro-aggregation networks. Different strategies can be applied to deploy the virtual network functions (VNFs) composing the slices over physical nodes, while providing different levels of resource isolation (among slices) and protection against failures, based on several available techniques. Considering that, in optical metro-aggregation networks, protection can be ensured at different layers, and the slice protection with traffic grooming calls for evolved multilayer protection approaches. In this paper, we investigate the problem of reliable slicing with protection at the lightpath layer for different levels of slice isolation and different VNF deployment strategies. We model the problem through an integer linear program (ILP), and we devise a heuristic for joint optimization of VNF placement and ligthpath selection. The heuristic maps nodes and links over the physical network in a coordinated manner and provides an effective placement of radio access network functions and the routing and wavelength assignment for the optical layer. The effectiveness of the proposed heuristic is validated by comparison with the optimal solution provided by the ILP. Our illustrative numerical results compare the impact of different levels of isolation, showing that higher levels of network and VNF isolation are characterized by higher costs in terms of optical and computation resources.

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  3. Optical network failure management (ONFM) is a promising application of machine learning (ML) to optical networking. Typical ML-based ONFM approaches exploit historical monitored data, retrieved in a specific domain (e.g., a link or a network), to train supervised ML models and learn failure characteristics (a signature) that will be helpful upon future failure occurrence in that domain. Unfortunately, in operational networks, data availability often constitutes a practical limitation to the deployment of ML-based ONFM solutions, due to scarce availability of labeled data comprehensively modeling all possible failure types. One could purposely inject failures to collect training data, but this is time consuming and not desirable by operators. A possible solution is transfer learning (TL), i.e., training ML models on a source domain (SD), e.g., a laboratory testbed, and then deploying trained models on a target domain (TD), e.g., an operator network, possibly fine-tuning the learned models by re-training with few TD data. Moreover, in those cases when TL re-training is not successful (e.g., due to the intrinsic difference in SD and TD), another solution is domain adaptation, which consists of combining unlabeled SD and TD data before model training. We investigate domain adaptation and TL for failure detection and failure-cause identification across different lightpaths leveraging real optical SNR data. We find that for the considered scenarios, up to 20% points of accuracy increase can be obtained with domain adaptation for failure detection, while for failure-cause identification, only combining domain adaptation with model re-training provides significant benefit, reaching 4%–5% points of accuracy increase in the considered cases.

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