Autonomous resource management for Mobile Edge Clouds

Abstract: Mobile Edge Clouds (MECs) are platforms that complement today's centralized clouds by distributing computing and storage capacity across the edge of the network, in Edge Data Centers (EDCs) located in close proximity to end-users. They are particularly attractive because of their potential benefits for the delivery of bandwidth-hungry, latency-critical applications. However, the control of resource allocation and provisioning in MECs is challenging because of the  heterogeneous distributed resource capacity of EDCs as well as the need for flexibility in application deployment and the dynamic nature of mobile users. To realize the potential of MECs, efficient resource management systems that can deal with these challenges must be designed and built.This thesis focuses on two problems. The first relates to the fact that it is unrealistic to expect MECs to become successful based solely on MEC-native applications. Thus, to spur the development of MECs, we investigated the benefits MECs can offer to non-MEC-native applications, i.e., applications not specifically engineered for MECs. One class of popular applications that may benefit strongly from deployment on MECs are cloud-native applications, particularly microservice-based applications with high deployment flexibility. We therefore quantified the performance of cloud-native applications deployed using resources from both cloud datacenters and edge locations. We also developed a network communication profiling tool to identify the aspects of these applications that reduce the benefits they derive from deployment on MECs, and proposed design improvements that would allow such applications to better exploit MECs' capabilities.The second problem examined in this thesis relates to the dynamic nature of resource demand in MECs. To overcome the challenges arising from this dynamicity, we make use of statistical time series models and machine learning techniques to develop two workload prediction models for EDCs that account for both user mobility and the correlation of workload changes among EDCs in close physical proximity.  

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