In the next decade, data transmission with speeds at several tens of gigabits per second (Gb/s) and beyond in short-haul local area and metropolitan area computer networks, as well as long- haul telecommunications networks, will be necessary to satisfy the ever increasing demands on bandwidth. Time division multiplexing based transmission systems become increasingly difficult to implement at higher speeds due to the speed limitations of electronics. In addition, these networks based on single wavelength transmission, use the available bandwidth inefficiently. As a result, both timing synchronization and bandwidth sharing among large numbers of users become major challenges. Wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) eases most of these problems; but introduces wavelength synchronization as the primary technical hurdle. The adaptive robust WDM receiver adjusts dynamically to the sources and thus alleviates many of the most serious and costly disadvantages of WDM. The technical burdens of WDM transmission are shifted to the receiver which is designed to accommodate the manufacturing and operating imperfects of the transmitter sources. Consequently, the receiver has then to be more sophisticated, but the added complexity in the receiver is in VLSI, simple PIN diodes, and passive guided wave optics. These components are inherently among the least expensive components in an optoelectronic system. Commercial WDM systems, especially in local area computer network environments, can thus be produced at significantly lower cost.