## Abstract

We present an optimization procedure that mixes advanced large-scale optimization methods and heuristics to solve large instances (with over 1.7 million integer variables) of the routing and spectrum allocation (RSA) problem—a basic optimization problem in flexgrid elastic optical networks. We formulate the problem as a mixed-integer program for which we develop a branch-and-price algorithm enhanced with such techniques as problem relaxations and cuts for improving lower bounds (LBs) for the optimal objective value, and an RSA heuristic for improving the upper bounds. All these elements are combined into an effective optimization procedure. The results of numerical experiments run on network topologies of different dimensions and with large demand sets show that the algorithm performs well and can be applied to the problem instances that are difficult to solve using commercial solvers such as CPLEX.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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