Placement and Assignment of Servers in Virtualized Radio Access Networks

Research paper by Rashid Mijumbi

Indexed on: 01 Dec '15Published on: 01 Dec '15Published in: Computer Science - Networking and Internet Architecture


The virtualization of Radio Access Networks (RANs) has been proposed as one of the important use cases of Network Function Virtualization (NFV). In Virtualized Radio Access Networks (VRANs), some functions from a Base Station (BS), such as those which make up the Base Band Unit (BBU), may be implemented in a shared infrastructure located at either a data center or distributed in network nodes. For the latter option, one challenge is in deciding which subset of the available network nodes can be used to host the physical BBU servers (the placement problem), and then to which of the available physical BBUs each Remote Radio Head (RRH) should be assigned (the assignment problem). These two problems constitute what we refer to as the VRAN Placement and Assignment Problem (VRAN-PAP). In this paper, we start by formally defining the VRAN-PAP before formulating it as a Binary Integer Linear Program (BILP) whose objective is to minimize the server and front haul link setup costs as well as the latency between each RRH and its assigned BBU. Since the BILP could become computationally intractable, we also propose a greedy approximation for larger instances of the VRAN-PAP. We perform simulations to compare both algorithms in terms of solution quality as well as computation time under varying network sizes and setup budgets.