Long-term traffic forecasting in optical networks using Machine Learning

Krzysztof Walkowiak, Daniel Szostak, Adam Włodarczyk, Andrzej Kasprzak


Knowledge about future traffic in backbone optical networks may greatly improve a range of tasks that Communications Service Providers (CSPs) have to face. This work proposes a procedure for long-term traffic forecasting in optical networks. We formulate a long-term traffic forecasting problem as an ordinal classification task. Due to the optical networks’ (and other network technologies’) characteristics, traffic forecasting has been realized by predicting future traffic levels rather than the exact traffic volume. We examine different machine learning (ML) algorithms and compare them with time series algorithms methods. To evaluate the developed ML models, we use a quality metric, which considers the network resource usage. Datasets used during research are based on real traffic patterns presented by Internet Exchange Point in Seattle. Our study shows that ML algorithms employed for long-term traffic forecasting problem obtain high values of quality metrics. Additionally, the final choice of the ML algorithm for the forecasting task should depend on CSPs expectations.

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