We propose new burst assembly schemes and fast reservation (FR) protocols for Optical Burst Switched (OBS) networks that are based on traffic prediction. The burst assembly schemes aim at minimizing (for a given burst size) the average delay of the packets incurred during the burst assembly process, while the fast reservation protocols aim at further reducing the end-to-end delay of the data bursts. The burst assembly techniques use a linear prediction filter to estimate the number of packet arrivals at the ingress node in the following interval, and launch a new burst into the network when a certain criterion, different for each proposed scheme, is met. The fast reservation protocols use prediction filters to estimate the expected length of the burst and the time needed for the burst assembly process to complete. A Burst Header Packet (BHP) packet carrying these estimates is sent before the burst is completed, in order to reserve bandwidth at intermediate nodes for the time interval the burst is expected to pass from these nodes. Reducing the packet aggregation delay and the time required to perform the reservations, reduces the total time needed for a packet to be transported over an OBS network and is especially important for real-time applications. We evaluate the performance of the proposed burst assembly schemes and show that a number of them outperform the previously proposed timer-based, length-based and average delay-based burst assembly schemes. We also look at the performance of the fast reservation (FR) protocols in terms of the probability of successfully establishing the reservations required to transport the burst.