Profit Driven Service Provisioning in Edge Computing via Deep Reinforcement Learning

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3006-3019
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
Issue number3
Online published16 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


With the integration of Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), service providers are able to provide low-latency services to mobile users for profits. In this paper, we study the online service placement and request assignment problem in an MEC network, where service requests arrive one by one without the knowledge of future arrivals, and each arrived request demands a specific service with a tolerable service delay requirement with the aim to maximize the profit of the service provider, through admitting as many service requests as possible for a given monitoring period. This optimization objective is achieved by assigning service requests to appropriate cloudlets in the MEC network, pre-installing service instances into cloudlets to shorten service delays, and accommodating new services by revoking some idle service instances from cloudlets due to limited computing resource in MEC networks. In this paper, we first show that the problem is NP-hard. We then devise an efficient deep reinforcement learning algorithm for the online service placement and request assignment problem that consists of a deep reinforcement learning-based prediction mechanism for dynamic service placement, followed by a dynamic request assignment procedure to assign requests to cloudlets. We finally evaluate the performance of the proposed algorithms by conducting experiments through simulations. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is promising, improving performance by 46.8% compared with that of the comparison algorithms.

Research Area(s)

  • Approximation algorithms, Cloud computing, Costs, Delays, distributed resource allocation, Heuristic algorithms, Mobile edge-cloud networks, online machine-learning algorithms., Optimization, Prediction algorithms, profit maximization, service instance placement, service request provisioning