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Online Optimization for Network Resource Allocation and Comparison with Reinforcement Learning Techniques

Ahmed Sid-AliIoannis LambadarisYiqiang Q. ZhaoGennady ShaikhetAmirhossein Asgharnia
Nov 2023
We tackle in this paper an online network resource allocation problem with job transfers. The network is composed of many servers connected by communication links. The system operates in discrete time; at each time slot, the administrator reserves resources at servers for future job requests, and a cost is incurred for the reservations made. Then, after receptions, the jobs may be transferred between the servers to best accommodate the demands. This incurs an additional transport cost. Finally, if a job request cannot be satisfied, there is a violation that engenders a cost to pay for the blocked job. We propose a randomized online algorithm based on the exponentially weighted method. We prove that our algorithm enjoys a sub-linear in time regret, which indicates that the algorithm is adapting and learning from its experiences and is becoming more efficient in its decision-making as it accumulates more data. Moreover, we test the performance of our algorithm on artificial data and compare it against a reinforcement learning method where we show that our proposed method outperforms the latter.
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