A Deep Reinforcement Learning Based Offloading Game in Edge Computing

Yufeng Zhan, Song Guo, Peng Li, Jiang Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


Edge computing is a new paradigm to provide strong computing capability at the edge of pervasive radio access networks close to users. A critical research challenge of edge computing is to design an efficient offloading strategy to decide which tasks can be offloaded to edge servers with limited resources. Although many research efforts attempt to address this challenge, they need centralized control, which is not practical because users are rational individuals with interests to maximize their benefits. In this article, we study to design a decentralized algorithm for computation offloading, so that users can independently choose their offloading decisions. Game theory has been applied in the algorithm design. Different from existing work, we address the challenge that users may refuse to expose their information about network bandwidth and preference. Therefore, it requires that our solution should make the offloading decision without such knowledge. We formulate the problem as a partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP), which is solved by a policy gradient deep reinforcement learning (DRL) based approach. Extensive simulation results show that our proposal significantly outperforms existing solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8967118
Pages (from-to)883-893
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computers
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • computation offloading
  • deep reinforcement learning (DRL)
  • Edge computing
  • Nash equilibrium
  • partially observable Markov decision process (POMDP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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