A dark and stormy night: Reallocation storms in edge computing

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This article is free to access.


Efficient resource usage in edge computing requires clever allocation of the workload of application components. In this paper, we show that under certain circumstances, the number of superfluous workload reallocations from one edge server to another may grow to a significant proportion of all user tasks—a phenomenon we present as a reallocation storm. We showcase this phenomenon on a city-scale edge server deployment by simulating the allocation of user task workloads in a number of scenarios capturing likely edge computing deployments and usage patterns. The simulations are based on a large real-world data set of city-wide Wi-Fi network connections, with more than 47M connections over ca. 560 access points. We study the occurrence of reallocation storms in three common edge-based reallocation strategies and compare the latency–workload trade-offs related to each strategy. As a result, we find that the superfluous reallocations vanish when the edge server capacity is increased above a certain threshold, unique for each reallocation strategy, peaking at ca. 35% of the peak ES workload. Further, while a reallocation strategy aiming to minimize latency consistently resulted in the worst reallocation storms, the two other strategies, namely a random reallocation strategy and a bottom-up strategy which always chooses the edge server with the lowest workload as a reallocation target, behave nearly identically in terms of latency as well as the reallocation storm in dense edge deployments. Since the random strategy requires much less coordination, we recommend it over the bottom-up one in dense ES deployments. Moreover, we study the conditions associated with reallocation storms. We discover that edge servers with the very highest workloads are best associated with reallocation storms, with other servers around the few busy nodes thus mirroring their workload. Further, we identify circumstances associated with an elevated risk of reallocation storms, such as summertime (ca. 4 times the risk than on average) and on weekends (ca. 1.5 times the risk). Furthermore, mass events such as popular sports games incurred a high risk (nearly 10 times that of the average) of a reallocation storm in a MEC-based scenario.




Lovén, L., Peltonen, E., Ruha, L., Harjula, E., & Pirttikangas, S. (2022). A dark and stormy night: Reallocation storms in edge computing. Eurasip Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking, 2022(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13638-022-02170-y

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free