Spatio-Temporal Edge Service Placement: A Bandit Learning Approach

Lixing Chen, Jie Xu, Shaolei Ren, Pan Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Shared edge computing platforms deployed at the radio access network are expected to significantly improve the quality-of-service delivered by application service providers (ASPs) in a flexible and economic way. However, placing edge service in every possible edge site by an ASP is practically infeasible due to the ASP's prohibitive budget requirement. In this paper, we investigate the edge service placement problem of an ASP under a limited budget, where the ASP dynamically rents computing/storage resources in edge sites to host its applications in close proximity to end users. Since the benefit of placing edge service in a specific site is usually unknown to the ASP a priori, optimal placement decisions must be made while learning this benefit. We pose this problem as a novel combinatorial contextual bandit learning problem. It is "combinatorial" because only a limited number of edge sites can be rented to provide the edge service given the ASP's budget. It is "contextual" because we utilize user context information to enable finer-grained learning and decision-making. To solve this problem and optimize the edge computing performance, we propose SEEN, a Spatial-temporal Edge sErvice placemeNt algorithm. Furthermore, SEEN is extended to scenarios with overlapping service coverage by incorporating a disjunctively constrained knapsack problem. In both cases, we prove that our algorithm achieves a sublinear regret bound when it is compared with an Oracle algorithm that knows the exact benefit information. Simulations are carried out on a real-world dataset, whose results show that SEEN significantly outperforms benchmark solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8509631
Pages (from-to)8388-8401
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Edge computing
  • context awareness
  • multi-armed bandit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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