An optimal auction mechanism for mobile edge caching

Xuanyu Cao, Junshan Zhang, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

42 Scopus citations


With the explosive growth of wireless data, mobile edge caching has emerged as a promising paradigm to support mobile traffic recently, in which the service providers (SPs) prefetch some popular contents in advance and cache them locally at the network edge. When requested, those locally cached contents 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. Due to the limited available cache space, it makes sense for the SP to cache the most profitable contents. Nevertheless, users' true valuations of contents 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 contents can be delivered with different quality, which needs to be chosen judiciously to balance delivery costs and user satisfaction. To tackle these difficulties, in this paper, we propose an optimal auction mechanism from the perspective of the SP. In the auction, the SP determines the cache space allocation over contents 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 publicationProceedings - 2018 IEEE 38th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781538668719
StatePublished - Jul 19 2018
Event38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2018 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: Jul 2 2018Jul 5 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems


Other38th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • Content caching
  • Content delivery quality
  • Mechanism design
  • Optimal auction


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