Dynamic user allocation in stochastic Mobile Edge computing systems

Phu Lai, Qiang He, Xiaoyu Xia, Feifei Chen, Mohamed Abdelrazek, John Grundy, John G. Hosking, Yun Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Mobile Edge computing (MEC) is a new distributed computing paradigm where edge servers are deployed at, or near cellular base stations in close proximity to end-users. This offers computing resources at the edge of the network, facilitating a highly accessible platform for real-time, latency-sensitive services. A typical MEC environment is highly stochastic with random user arrivals and departures over time. Here, we address the user allocation problem from a service provider's perspective, who needs to allocate its users to the cloud or edge servers in a specific area. A user, who has a multi-dimensional resource requirement, can be allocated to either the remote cloud, which incurs a high latency, or an edge server, which results in a low latency but might require the user to wait in a queue. This study aims to achieve a controllable trade-off between performance (throughput) and several associated costs such as queuing delay and latency costs. We model this problem as a stochastic optimization problem, propose SUAC (Stochastic User AlloCation) -- an online Lyapunov optimization-based algorithm, and prove its performance bounds. The experimental results demonstrate that SUAC outperforms existing approaches, effectively allocating users with a desired trade-off while keeping the system strongly stable.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Services Computing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Mar 2021


  • Computational modeling
  • Edge computing
  • Lyapunov optimization
  • Mobile edge computing
  • Optimization
  • resource allocation
  • Resource management
  • Servers
  • Stochastic processes
  • Throughput
  • user allocation

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