Model-Based Reinforcement Learning with Kernels for Resource Allocation in RAN Slices

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Network slicing is a key feature of 5G and beyond networks, allowing the deployment of separate logical networks (network slices), sharing a common underlying physical infrastructure, and characterized by distinct descriptors and behaviors. The dynamic allocation of physical network resources among coexisting slices should address a challenging trade-off: to use resources efficiently while assigning each slice sufficient resources to meet its service level agreement (SLA). We consider the allocation of time-frequency resources from a new perspective: to design a control algorithm capable of learning over the operating network, while keeping the SLA violation rate under an acceptable level during the learning process. For this purpose, traditional model-free reinforcement learning (RL) methods present several drawbacks: low sample efficiency, extensive exploration of the policy space, and inability to discriminate between conflicting objectives, causing inefficient use of the resources and/or frequent SLA violations during the learning process. To overcome these limitations, we propose a model-based RL approach built upon a novel modeling strategy that comprises a kernel-based classifier and a self-assessment mechanism. In numerical experiments, our proposal, referred to as kernel-based RL, clearly outperforms state-of-the-art RL algorithms in terms of SLA fulfillment, resource efficiency, and computational overhead.




Alcaraz, J. J., Losilla, F., Zanella, A., & Zorzi, M. (2023). Model-Based Reinforcement Learning with Kernels for Resource Allocation in RAN Slices. IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, 22(1), 486–501.

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