Computation Peer Offloading for Energy-Constrained Mobile Edge Computing in Small-Cell Networks

Lixing Chen, Sheng Zhou, Jie Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations


The (ultra-)dense deployment of small-cell base stations (SBSs) endowed with cloud-like computing functionalities paves the way for pervasive mobile edge computing, enabling ultra-low latency and location-awareness for a variety of emerging mobile applications and the Internet of Things. To handle spatially uneven computation workloads in the network, cooperation among SBSs via workload peer offloading is essential to avoid large computation latency at overloaded SBSs and provide high quality of service to end users. However, performing effective peer offloading faces many unique challenges due to limited energy resources committed by self-interested SBS owners, uncertainties in the system dynamics, and co-provisioning of radio access and computing services. This paper develops a novel online SBS peer offloading framework, called online peer offloading (OPEN), by leveraging the Lyapunov technique, in order to maximize the long-term system performance while keeping the energy consumption of SBSs below individual long-term constraints. OPEN works online without requiring information about future system dynamics, yet provides provably near-optimal performance compared with the oracle solution that has the complete future information. In addition, this paper formulates a peer offloading game among SBSs and analyzes its equilibrium and efficiency loss in terms of the price of anarchy to thoroughly understand SBSs' strategic behaviors, thereby enabling decentralized and autonomous peer offloading decision making. Extensive simulations are carried out and show that peer offloading among SBSs dramatically improves the edge computing performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8392534
Pages (from-to)1619-1932
Number of pages314
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Edge computing
  • energy efficiency
  • load management
  • peer-to-peer computing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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