Optimal Submarine Cable Path Planning and Trunk-and-Branch Tree Network Topology Design

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

4 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Article number9090303
Pages (from-to)1562-1572
Journal / PublicationIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number4
Online published8 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


We study the path planning of submarine cable systems with trunk-and-branch tree topology on the surface of the earth. Existing work on path planning represents the earth’s surface by triangulated manifolds and takes account of laying cost of the cable including material, labor, alternative protection levels, terrain slope and survivability of the cable. Survivability issues include the risk of future cable break associated with laying the cable through sensitive and risky areas, such as, in particular, earthquake-prone regions. The key novelty of this paper is an examination and solution of the path planning of submarine cable systems with trunk-and-branch tree topology. We formulate the problem as a Steiner minimal tree problem on irregular 2D manifolds in ℝ3. For a given Steiner topology, we propose a polynomial time computational complexity numerical method based on the dynamic programming principle. If the topology is unknown, a branch and bound algorithm is adopted. Simulations are performed on real-world three-dimensional geographical data.

Research Area(s)

  • Optical fiber cables, path optimization, Steiner minimal tree, cost effectiveness, seismic resilience, manifolds