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Publications & Journals

RLOps: Development Life-Cycle of Reinforcement Learning Aided Open RAN


Li, P., Thomas, J., Wang, X., Khalil, A., Ahmad, A., Inacio, R., Kapoor, S., Parekh, A., Doufexi, A., Shojaeifard, A. and Piechocki, R., 2022. RLOps: Development Life-cycle of Reinforcement Learning Aided Open RAN. IEEE Access.





University of Bristol


Radio access network (RAN) technologies continue to evolve, with Open RAN gaining the most recent momentum. In the O-RAN specifications, the RAN intelligent controllers (RICs) are software-defined orchestration and automation functions for the intelligent management of RAN. This article introduces principles for machine learning (ML), in particular, reinforcement learning (RL) applications in the O-RAN stack. Furthermore, we review the state-of-the-art research in wireless networks and cast it onto the RAN framework and the hierarchy of the O-RAN architecture. We provide a taxonomy for the challenges faced by ML/RL models throughout the development life-cycle: from the system specification to production deployment (data acquisition, model design, testing and management, etc.). To address the challenges, we integrate a set of existing MLOps principles with unique characteristics when RL agents are considered. This paper discusses a systematic model development, testing and validation life-cycle, termed: RLOps. We discuss fundamental parts of RLOps, which include: model specification, development, production environment serving, operations monitoring and safety/security. Based on these principles, we propose the best practices for RLOps to achieve an automated and reproducible model development process. At last, a holistic data analytics platform rooted in the O-RAN deployment is designed and implemented, aiming to embrace and fulfil the aforementioned principles and best practices of RLOps.

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