Mobile edge caching: An optimal auction approach

Xuanyu Cao, Junshan Zhang, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


With an explosive growth of wireless data, the sheer volume of mobile traffic is challenging the capacity of current wireless systems. To tackle this challenge, mobile edge caching has emerged as a promising paradigm, in which service providers (SPs) prefetch some popular content items in advance and cache them locally at the network edge. When requested, those locally cached content items can be directly delivered to users with low latency, thus, alleviating the traffic load over backhaul channels during peak hours and enhancing the quality-of- experience (QoE) of users simultaneously. Owing to the limited available cache space, it makes sense for the SP to cache the most profitable content items. Nevertheless, users’ true valuations of content items are their private knowledge, which is unknown to the SP in general. This information asymmetry poses a significant challenge for effective caching at the SP side. Further, the cached content items can be delivered with different levels of quality, which needs to be chosen judiciously to balance delivery costs and user satisfaction. To tackle these difficulties, we propose an optimal auction mechanism from the perspective of the SP. In the auction, the SP determines the cache space allocation over content items and user payments based on the users’ (possibly untruthful) reports of their valuations so that the SP’s expected revenue is maximized. The advocated mechanism is designed to elicit true valuations from the users (incentive compatibility) and to incentivize user participation (individual rationality). In addition, we devise a computationally efficient method for calculating the optimal cache space allocation and user payments. We further examine the optimal choice of the content delivery quality for the case with a large number of users and derive a closed-form solution to compute the optimal delivery quality. Finally, extensive simulations are implemented to evaluate the performance of the proposed optimal auction mechanism, and the impact of various model parameters is highlighted to obtain engineering insights into the content caching problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEdge Caching for Mobile Networks
PublisherInstitution of Engineering and Technology
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781839531224
ISBN (Print)9781839531231
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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