On robustness of network slicing for next-generation mobile networks

Ruihan Wen, Gang Feng, Jianhua Tang, Tony Q.S. Quek, Gang Wang, Wei Tan, Shuang Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Network slicing is a fundamental architectural technology for the fifth generation mobile network. It is challenging to design a robust end-to-end network slice spanning overall networks, where a slice is constituted by a set of virtual network functions (VNFs) and links. Bugs may accidentally occur in some VNFs, invalidating some slices, and triggering slice recovery processes. Besides, the traffic demands in each slice can be stochastic, and drastic changes of traffic demands may trigger slice reconfiguration. In this paper, we investigate robust network slicing mechanisms by addressing the slice recovery and reconfiguration in a unified framework. We first develop an optimal slice recovery mechanism for deterministic traffic demands. This optimal solution is used as a benchmark for evaluating other robust slicing algorithms. Then, we design an optimal joint slice recovery and reconfiguration algorithm for stochastic traffic demands by exploiting robust optimization. To tackle the slow convergence issue in the robust optimization algorithm, we propose a heuristic algorithm based on variable neighborhood search. Numerical results reveal that our proposed robust network slicing algorithms can provide adjustable tolerance of traffic uncertainties compared with the deterministic algorithm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8454739
Pages (from-to)430-444
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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