Service Placement for Collaborative Edge Applications

Lin Wang, Lei Jiao, Ting He, Jun Li, Henri Bal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Edge computing is emerging as a promising computing paradigm for supporting next-generation applications that rely on low-latency network connections in the Internet-of-Things (IoT) era. Many edge applications, such as multi-player augmented reality (AR) gaming and federated machine learning, require that distributed clients work collaboratively for a common goal through message exchanges. Given an edge network, it is an open problem how to deploy such collaborative edge applications to achieve the best overall system performance. This paper presents a formal study of this problem. We first provide a mix of cost models to capture the system. Based on a thorough formulation, we propose an iterative algorithm dubbed ITEM, where in each iteration, we construct a graph to encode all the costs and convert the cost optimization problem into a graph cut problem. By obtaining the minimum s-t cut via existing max-flow algorithms, we address the original problem via solving a series of graph cuts. We rigorously prove that ITEM has a parameterized constant approximation ratio. Inspired by the optimal stopping theory, we further design an online algorithm called OPTS, based on optimally alternating between partial and full placement updates. Our evaluations with real-world data traces demonstrate that ITEM performs close to the optimum (within 5%) and converges fast. OPTS achieves a bounded performance as expected while reducing full updates by more than 67% of the time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9212591
Pages (from-to)34-47
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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