Online Resource Allocation for Arbitrary User Mobility in Distributed Edge Clouds
Lin Wang, Lei Jiao, Jun Li and Max Mühlhäuser
TU Darmstadt, University of Oregon, University of Oregon, TU Darmstadt

As clouds move to the network edge to facilitate mobile applications, edge cloud providers are facing new challenges on resource allocation. As users may move and resource prices may vary arbitrarily, resources in edge clouds must be allocated and adapted continuously in order to accommodate such dynamics. In this paper, we first formulate this problem with a comprehensive model that captures the key challenges, then introduce a gap-preserving transformation of the problem, and propose a novel online algorithm that optimally solves a series of subproblems with a carefully designed logarithmic objective, finally producing feasible solutions for edge cloud resource allocation over time. We further prove via rigorous analysis that our online algorithm can provide a parameterized competitive ratio, without requiring any a priori knowledge on either the resource price or the user mobility. Through extensive experiments with both real-world and synthetic data, we further confirm the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. We show that the proposed algorithm achieves near-optimal results with an empirical competitive ratio of about 1:1, reduces the total cost by up to 4 compared to static approaches, and outperforms the online greedy one-shot optimizations by up to 70%.