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Journal Articles IEEE Communications Magazine Year : 2014

Living on the Edge: The Role of Proactive Caching in 5G Wireless Networks

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Abstract

This article explores one of the key enablers of beyond 4G wireless networks leveraging small cell network deployments, namely proactive caching. Endowed with predictive capabilities and harnessing recent developments in storage, context-awareness and social networks, peak traffic demands can be substantially reduced by proactively serving predictable user demands, via caching at base stations and users' devices. In order to show the effectiveness of proactive caching, we examine two case studies which exploit the spatial and social structure of the network, where proactive caching plays a crucial role. Firstly, in order to alleviate backhaul congestion, we propose a mechanism whereby files are proactively cached during off-peak demands based on file popularity and correlations among users and files patterns. Secondly, leveraging social networks and device-to-device (D2D) communications, we propose a procedure that exploits the social structure of the network by predicting the set of influential users to (proactively) cache strategic contents and disseminate them to their social ties via D2D communications. Exploiting this proactive caching paradigm, numerical results show that important gains can be obtained for each case study, with backhaul savings and a higher ratio of satisfied users of up to 22% and 26%, respectively. Higher gains can be further obtained by increasing the storage capability at the network edge. I. INTRODUCTION The recent proliferation of smartphones has substantially enriched the mobile user experience, leading to a vast array of new wireless services, including multimedia streaming, web-browsing applications and socially-interconnected networks. This phenomenon has been further fueled by mobile video streaming, which currently accounts for almost 50% of mobile data traffic, with a projection of 500-fold increase over the next 10 years [1]. At the same time, social networking is already the second largest traffic volume contributor with a 15% average share [2]. This new phenomenon has urged mobile operators to redesign their current networks and seek more advanced and sophisticated techniques to increase coverage, boost network capacity, and cost-effectively bring contents closer to users. A promising approach to meet these unprecedented traffic demands is via the deployment of small cell networks (SCNs) [3]. SCNs represent a novel networking paradigm based on the idea of deploying short-range, low-power, and low-cost small base stations (SBSs) underlaying the macrocellular network. To date, the vast majority of research works has been dealing with issues related to self-organization, inter-cell interference coordination (ICIC), traffic offloading, energy-efficiency, etc (see [3] and references therein). These studies were carried out under the existing reactive networking paradigm, in which users' traffic requests and flows must be served urgently upon their arrival or dropped causing outages. Because of this, the existing small cell networking paradigm falls short of solving peak traffic demands whose large-scale deployment hinges on expensive site acquisition, installation and backhaul costs. These shortcomings are set to become increasingly acute, due to the surging number of connected devices and the advent of ultra-dense networks, which will continue to strain current cellular network infrastructures. These key observations mandate a novel networking paradigm which goes beyond current heterogeneous small cell deployments leveraging the latest developments in storage, context-awareness, and social networking [4].
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hal-01098858 , version 1 (29-12-2014)

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Ejder Bastug, Mehdi Bennis, Mérouane Debbah. Living on the Edge: The Role of Proactive Caching in 5G Wireless Networks. IEEE Communications Magazine, 2014, 52 (8), pp.82 - 89. ⟨10.1109/MCOM.2014.6871674⟩. ⟨hal-01098858⟩
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