TopMath Talk with Sam Thomas

An Application of Mixing Times to Fibreoptic Networks

29 August 2019 16:30 – 18:00
On Thursday, 29th August 2019, 4:30 PM Sam Thomas (Cambridge, UK) will give a talk on "An Application of Mixing Times to Fibreoptic Networks" in room MI 00.10.011. Everybody is welcome.


In this talk, we discuss challenges in 'routing schemes' for fibreoptic networks, and suggest a possible scheme. In essence, one has a network of cables connecting cities, and wishes to send data down these cables; however, one cannot send two signals of the same type down the same cable, as they then interfere. I shall formulate this precisely, and it turns out that finding a (suitable) routing scheme is an NP-hard problem.

Using randomness (Markov chains), we show one way to get around this using an approximation scheme, which has desirable properties, such as robustness and stability. These types of systems are actually used in the real world.

TopMath Talks

The TopMath Talks are public and last about an hour including discussion.

The speakers give a comprehensible insight into their field of interest and thus enable students and staff to expand their mathematical general education.

Snacks and drinks will be provided. Everybody is welcome.