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  1. A similarity cache can reply to a query for an object with similar objects stored locally. In some applications of similarity caches, queries and objects are naturally repre- sented as points in a continuous space. This is for example the case of 360◦ videos where user’s head orientation—expressed in spherical coordinates—determines what part of the video needs to be retrieved, or of recommendation systems where a metric learning technique is used to embed the objects in a finite dimensional space with an opportune distance to capture content dissimilarity. Existing similarity caching policies are simple modifications of classic policies like LRU, LFU, and qLRU and ignore the continuous nature of the space where objects are embedded. In this paper, we propose GRADES, a new similarity caching policy that uses gradient descent to navigate the continuous space and find appropriate objects to store in the cache. We provide theoretical convergence guarantees and show GRADES increases the similarity of the objects served by the cache in both applications mentioned above.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 22, 2023
  2. In this work, we study the online multidimensional knapsack problem (called OMdKP) in which there is a knapsack whose capacity is represented in m dimensions, each dimension could have a different capacity. Then, n items with different scalar profit values and m-dimensional weights arrive in an online manner and the goal is to admit or decline items upon their arrival such that the total profit obtained by admitted items is maximized and the capacity of knapsack across all dimensions is respected. This is a natural generalization of the classic single-dimension knapsack problem with several relevant applications such as in virtual machine allocation, job scheduling, and all-or-nothing flow maximization over a graph. We develop an online algorithm for OMdKP that uses an exponential reservation function to make online admission decisions. Our competitive analysis shows that the proposed online algorithm achieves the competitive ratio of O(log (Θ α)), where α is the ratio between the aggregate knapsack capacity and the minimum capacity over a single dimension and θ is the ratio between the maximum and minimum item unit values. We also show that the competitive ratio of our algorithm with exponential reservation function matches the lower bound up to a constant factor.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 20, 2023
  3. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) deliver much of the world’s web and video content to users from thousands of clusters deployed at the “edges” of the Internet. Maintain- ing consistent performance in this large distributed system is challenging. Through analysis of month-long logs from over 2000 clusters of a large CDN, we study the patterns of server unavailability. For a CDN with no redundancy, each server unavailability causes a sudden loss in performance as the objects previously cached on that server are not accessible, which leads to a miss ratio spike. The state-of-the-art miti- gation technique used by large CDNs is to replicate objects across multiple servers within a cluster. We find that although replication reduces miss ratio spikes, spikes remain a perfor- mance challenge. We present C2DN, the first CDN design that achieves a lower miss ratio, higher availability, higher resource efficiency, and close-to-perfect write load balancing. The core of our design is to introduce erasure coding into the CDN architecture and use the parity chunks to re-balance the write load across servers. We implement C2DN on top of open-source production software and demonstrate that com- pared to replication-based CDNs, C2DN obtains 11% lower byte miss ratio, eliminates unavailability-induced missmore »ratio spikes, and reduces write load imbalance by 99%.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 4, 2023
  4. This paper develops competitive bidding strategies for an online linear optimization problem with inventory management constraints in both cost minimization and profit maximization settings. In the minimization problem, a decision maker should satisfy its time-varying demand by either purchasing units of an asset from the market or producing them from a local inventory with limited capacity. In the maximization problem, a decision maker has a time-varying supply of an asset that may be sold to the market or stored in the inventory to be sold later. In both settings, the market price is unknown in each timeslot and the decision maker can submit a finite number of bids to buy/sell the asset. Once all bids have been submitted, the market price clears and the amount bought/sold is determined based on the clearing price and submitted bids. From this setup, the decision maker must minimize/maximize their cost/profit in the market, while also devising a bidding strategy in the face of an unknown clearing price. We propose DEMBID and SUPBID, two competitive bidding strategies for these online linear optimization problems with inventory management constraints for the minimization and maximization setting respectively. We then analyze the competitive ratios of the proposed algorithms andmore »show that the performance of our algorithms approaches the best possible competitive ratio as the maximum number of bids increases. As a case study, we use energy data traces from Akamai data centers, renewable outputs from NREL, and energy prices from NYISO to show the effectiveness of our bidding strategies in the context of energy storage management for a large energy customer participating in a real-time electricity market.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 22, 2023
  5. In this paper, we study the online multidimensional knapsack problem (called OMdKP) in which there is a knapsack whose capacity is represented in m dimensions, each dimension could have a different capacity. Then, n items with different scalar profit values and m-dimensional weights arrive in an online manner and the goal is to admit or decline items upon their arrival such that the total profit obtained by admitted items is maximized and the capacity of knapsack across all dimensions is respected. This is a natural generalization of the classic single-dimension knapsack problem and finds several relevant applications such as in virtual machine allocation, job scheduling, and all-or-nothing flow maximization over a graph. We develop two algorithms for OMdKP that use linear and exponential reservation functions to make online admission decisions. Our competitive analysis shows that the linear and exponential algorithms achieve the competitive ratios of O(θα ) and O(łogł(θα)), respectively, where α is the ratio between the aggregate knapsack capacity and the minimum capacity over a single dimension and θ is the ratio between the maximum and minimum item unit values. We also characterize a lower bound for the competitive ratio of any online algorithm solving OMdKP and show thatmore »the competitive ratio of our algorithm with exponential reservation function matches the lower bound up to a constant factor.« less
  6. Delivering videos under less-than-ideal network conditions without compromising end-users' quality of experiences is a hard problem. Virtually all prior work follow a piecemeal approach---either "tweaking" the fully reliable transport layer or making the client "smarter." We propose VOXEL, a cross-layer optimization system for video streaming. We use VOXEL to demonstrate how to combine application-provided "insights" with a partially reliable protocol for optimizing video streaming. To this end, we present a novel ABR algorithm that explicitly trades off losses for improving end-users' video-watching experiences. VOXEL is fully compatible with DASH, and backward-compatible with VOXEL-unaware servers and clients. In our experiments emulating a wide range of network conditions, VOXEL outperforms the state-of-the-art: We stream videos in the 90th-percentile with up to 97% less rebuffering than the state-of-the-art without sacrificing visual fidelity. We also demonstrate the benefits of VOXEL for small-buffer regimes like the emerging use case of low-latency and live streaming. In a survey of 54 real users, 84% of the participants indicated that they prefer videos streamed using VOXEL compared to the state-of-the-art.
  7. Traces from production caching systems of users accessing con- tent are seldom made available to the public as they are considered private and proprietary. The dearth of realistic trace data makes it difficult for system designers and researchers to test and validate new caching algorithms and architectures. To address this key problem, we present TRAGEN, a tool that can generate a synthetic trace that is “similar” to an original trace from the production system in the sense that the two traces would result in similar hit rates in a cache simulation. We validate TRAGEN by first proving that the synthetic trace is similar to the original trace for caches of arbitrary size when the Least-Recently-Used (LRU) policy is used. Next, we empirically validate the similarity of the synthetic trace and original trace for caches that use a broad set of commonly-used caching policies that include LRU, SLRU, FIFO, RANDOM, MARKERS, CLOCK and PLRU. For our empirical validation, we use original request traces drawn from four different traffic classes from the world’s largest CDN, each trace consisting of hundreds of millions of requests for tens of millions of objects. TRAGEN is publicly available and can be used to generate synthetic tracesmore »that are similar to actual pro- duction traces for a number of traffic classes such as videos, social media, web, and software downloads. Since the synthetic traces are similar to the original production ones, cache simulations performed using the synthetic traces will yield similar results to what might be attained in a production setting, making TRAGEN a key tool for cache system developers and researchers.« less
  8. Super-resolution (SR) is a well-studied technique for reconstructing high-resolution (HR) images from low-resolution (LR) ones. SR holds great promise for video streaming since an LR video segment can be transmitted from the video server to the client that then reconstructs the HR version using SR, resulting in a significant reduction in network bandwidth. However, SR is seldom used in practice for real-time video streaming, because the computational overhead of frame reconstruction results in large latency and low frame rate. To reduce the computational overhead and make SR practical, we propose a deep-learning-based SR method called Fo veated Cas caded Video Super Resolution (focas). focas relies on the fact that human eyes only have high acuity in a tiny central foveal region of the retina. focas uses more neural network blocks in the foveal region to provide higher video quality, while using fewer blocks in the periphery as lower quality is sufficient. To optimize the computational resources and reduce reconstruction latency, focas formulates and solves a convex optimization problem to decide the number of neural network blocks to use in each region of the frame. Using extensive experiments, we show that focas reduces the latency by 50%-70% while maintaining comparable visualmore »quality as traditional (non-foveated) SR. Further, focas provides a 12-16x reduction in the client-to-server network bandwidth in comparison with sending the full HR video segments.« less
  9. null (Ed.)
    This paper studies the online energy scheduling problem in a hy- brid model where the cost of energy is proportional to both the volume and peak usage, and where energy can be either locally generated or drawn from the grid. Inspired by recent advances in online algorithms with Machine Learned (ML) advice, we develop parameterized deterministic and randomized algorithms for this problem such that the level of reliance on the advice can be adjusted by a trust parameter. We then analyze the performance of the pro- posed algorithms using two performance metrics: robustness that measures the competitive ratio as a function of the trust parameter when the advice is inaccurate, and consistency for competitive ratio when the advice is accurate. Since the competitive ratio is analyzed in two different regimes, we further investigate the Pareto optimal- ity of the proposed algorithms. Our results show that the proposed deterministic algorithm is Pareto-optimal, in the sense that no other online deterministic algorithms can dominate the robustness and consistency of our algorithm. Furthermore, we show that the proposed randomized algorithm dominates the Pareto-optimal de- terministic algorithm. Our large-scale empirical evaluations using real traces of energy demand, energy prices, and renewable energy generations highlightmore »that the proposed algorithms outperform worst-case optimized algorithms and fully data-driven algorithms.« less
  10. A similarity cache can reply to a query for an object with similar objects stored locally. In some applications of similarity caches, queries and objects are naturally represented as pointsinacontinuousspace.Examplesinclude360◦ videoswhere user’s head orientation—expressed in spherical coordinates— determines what part of the video needs to be retrieved, and recommendation systems where the objects are embedded in a finite-dimensional space with a distance metric to capture content dissimilarity. Existing similarity caching policies are simple modifications of classic policies like LRU, LFU, and qLRU and ignore the continuous nature of the space where objects are embedded. In this paper, we propose GRADES, a new similarity caching policy that uses gradient descent to navigate the continuous space and find the optimal objects to store in the cache. We provide theoretical convergence guarantees and show GRADES increases the similarity of the objects served by the cache in both applications mentioned above.