Fairness-Oriented User Scheduling for Bursty Downlink Transmission Using Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning

30 Dec 2020  ·  Mingqi Yuan, Qi Cao, Man-on Pun, Yi Chen ·

In this work, we develop practical user scheduling algorithms for downlink bursty traffic with emphasis on user fairness. In contrast to the conventional scheduling algorithms that either equally divides the transmission time slots among users or maximizing some ratios without physcial meanings, we propose to use the 5%-tile user data rate (5TUDR) as the metric to evaluate user fairness. Since it is difficult to directly optimize 5TUDR, we first cast the problem into the stochastic game framework and subsequently propose a Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning (MARL)-based algorithm to perform distributed optimization on the resource block group (RBG) allocation. Furthermore, each MARL agent is designed to take information measured by network counters from multiple network layers (e.g. Channel Quality Indicator, Buffer size) as the input states while the RBG allocation as action with a proposed reward function designed to maximize 5TUDR. Extensive simulation is performed to show that the proposed MARL-based scheduler can achieve fair scheduling while maintaining good average network throughput as compared to conventional schedulers.

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