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Cloud-assisted wireless networks are emerging solutions that unite wireless networks and cloud computing to deliver cloud services directly from the network edges to support the foreseen massive demands from data- and computation-hungry mobile users. In this chapter, we first provide an overview of the two emerging cloud-assisted wireless network paradigms – namely, the cloud radio access network (C-RAN), which aims at centralization of base station (BS) functionalities, and mobile-edge computing (MEC), which aims at providing the RAN with computing and storage resources. We then leverage the C-RAN and MEC paradigms to design novel cooperative caching frameworks that explore the synergies of the in-network computing and storage resources. Specifically, a novel cooperative hierarchical caching framework is designed in C-RAN, where caching is performed both at the distributed BSs and at the cloud processing unit (CPU), which bridges the gap between the traditional edge-based and core-based caching schemes. Furthermore, a joint cooperative caching and processing framework is designed in a MEC network, where the MEC servers perform both cache storage and video transcoding to support adaptive bitrate (ABR) video streaming.
We study the delivery of 360°-navigable videos to 5G virtual reality (VR) wireless clients in future cooperative multi-cellular systems. A collection of small cell base stations interconnected via backhaul links are sharing their caching and computing resources to maximize the aggregate reward they earn by serving 360° videos requested by the wireless clients. We design an efficient representation method to construct the 360° videos such that they deliver only the remote scene viewpoint content genuinely needed by the VR users, thereby overcoming the present highly inefficient approach of sending a bulky 360° video, whose major part is made up of scene information never navigated by a user. Moreover, we design an optimization framework that allows the base stations to select cooperative caching/rendering/streaming strategies that maximize the aggregate reward they earn when serving the users for the given caching/computational resources at each base station.
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