Optimal and Fast Real-Time Resource Slicing with Deep Dueling Neural Networks

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Journal Article
IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, 2019, 37 (6), pp. 1455 - 1470
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© 1983-2012 IEEE. Effective network slicing requires an infrastructure/network provider to deal with the uncertain demands and real-time dynamics of the network resource requests. Another challenge is the combinatorial optimization of numerous resources, e.g., radio, computing, and storage. This paper develops an optimal and fast real-time resource slicing framework that maximizes the long-term return of the network provider while taking into account the uncertainty of resource demands from tenants. Specifically, we first propose a novel system model that enables the network provider to effectively slice various types of resources to different classes of users under separate virtual slices. We then capture the real-time arrival of slice requests by a semi-Markov decision process. To obtain the optimal resource allocation policy under the dynamics of slicing requests, e.g., uncertain service time and resource demands, a Q-learning algorithm is often adopted in the literature. However, such an algorithm is notorious for its slow convergence, especially for problems with large state/action spaces. This makes Q-learning practically inapplicable to our case, in which multiple resources are simultaneously optimized. To tackle it, we propose a novel network slicing approach with an advanced deep learning architecture, called deep dueling, that attains the optimal average reward much faster than the conventional Q-learning algorithm. This property is especially desirable to cope with the real-time resource requests and the dynamic demands of the users. Extensive simulations show that the proposed framework yields up to 40% higher long-term average return while being few thousand times faster, compared with the state-of-the-art network slicing approaches.
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