Deep Reinforcement Learning with Discrete Normalized Advantage Functions for Resource Management in Network Slicing

Chen Qi, Yuxiu Hua, Rongpeng Li, Zhifeng Zhao, Honggang Zhang

Network slicing promises to provision diversified services with distinct requirements in one infrastructure. Deep reinforcement learning (e.g., deep $\mathcal{Q}$-learning, DQL) is assumed to be an appropriate algorithm to solve the demand-aware inter-slice resource management issue in network slicing by regarding the varying demands and the allocated bandwidth as the environment state and the action, respectively. However, allocating bandwidth in a finer resolution usually implies larger action space, and unfortunately DQL fails to quickly converge in this case. In this paper, we introduce discrete normalized advantage functions (DNAF) into DQL, by separating the $\mathcal{Q}$-value function as a state-value function term and an advantage term and exploiting a deterministic policy gradient descent (DPGD) algorithm to avoid the unnecessary calculation of $\mathcal{Q}$-value for every state-action pair. Furthermore, as DPGD only works in continuous action space, we embed a k-nearest neighbor algorithm into DQL to quickly find a valid action in the discrete space nearest to the DPGD output. Finally, we verify the faster convergence of the DNAF-based DQL through extensive simulations.

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