Online Service Caching and Routing at the Edge with Switching Cost

Siqi Fan, I-Hong Hou, Van Sy Mai, Lotfi Benmohamed

This paper studies a problem of jointly optimizing two important operations in mobile edge computing: service caching, which determines which services to be hosted at the edge, and service routing, which determines which requests to be processed at the edge. We aim to address several practical challenges, including limited storage and computation capacities of edge servers, delay of reconfiguring edge servers, and unknown future request arrival patterns. To this end, we formulate the problem as an online optimization problem, in which the objective function includes both the costs of forwarding requests, processing requests, and reconfiguring edge servers. By leveraging a natural timescale separation between service routing and service caching, namely, the former happens faster than the latter, we propose an online two-stage algorithm and its randomized variant. Both algorithms have low complexity and our fractional solution achieves sublinear regret. Simulation results show that our algorithms significantly outperform other state-of-the-art policies, including one that assumes the knowledge of all future request arrivals.

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