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Publications & Journals

Optimizing Virtual Network Function Splitting in Open-RAN Environments


Esmaeil, A., Wang, N., Shjafar, M., Tafazolli, R. (2022), Optimizing Virtual Network Function Splitting in Open-RAN Environments, IEEE LCN Conference, 10.1109/LCN53696.2022.9843310





University of Surrey


Open radio access network (Open-RAN) is becoming a key component of cellular networks, and therefore optimizing its architecture is vital. The Open-RAN is a distributed architecture that lets the virtualized networking functions be split between Distributed Units (DU) and Centralized Units (CUs); as a result, there is a wide range of design options. We propose an optimization problem to choose the split points. The objective is to balance the load across CUs as well as midhaul links by considering delay requirements. The resulting formulation is an NP-hard problem that is solved with a novel heuristic algorithm. Performance evaluation shows that the gap between optimal and heuristic solutions does not exceed 2%. An in-depth analysis of different centralization levels shows that using multi-CUs could reduce the total bandwidth usage by up to 20%. Moreover, multipath routing can improve the result of load balancing between midhaul links while increasing bandwidth usage.

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