Mean-Field Multi-Agent Contextual Bandit for Energy-Efficient Resource Allocation in vRANs


Radio Access Network (RAN) virtualization, key for new-generation mobile networks, requires Hardware Accelerators (HAs) that swiftly process wireless signals from Base Stations (BSs) to meet stringent reliability targets. However, HAs are expensive and energy-hungry, which increases costs and has serious environmental implications. To address this problem, we gather data from our experimental platform and compare the performance and energy consumption of a HA (NVIDIA GPU V100) vs. a CPU (Intel Xeon Gold 6240R, 16 cores) for energy-friendly software processing. Based on the insights obtained from this data, we devise a strategy to offload workloads to HAs opportunistically to save energy while preserving reliability. This offloading strategy, however, needs to be configured in near-real-time for every BS sharing common computational resources. This renders a challenging multi-agent collaborative problem in which the number of involved agents (BSs) can be arbitrarily large and can change over time. Thus, we propose an efficient multi-agent contextual bandit algorithm called ECORAN, which applies concepts from mean field theory to be fully scalable. Using a real platform and traces from a production mobile network, we show that ECORAN can provide up to 40% energy savings with respect to the approach used today by the industry.

IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM) 2024
Jose A. Ayala-Romero
Jose A. Ayala-Romero
Senior Research Scientist