[W2] - Boltzmann meets Nash: Energy-efficient routing in optical networks under uncertainty

P. Mertikopoulos, A. L. Moustakas, and A. Tzanakaki. Working paper.


Motivated by the massive deployment of power-hungry data centers for service provisioning, we examine the problem of routing in optical networks with the aim of minimizing traffic-driven power consumption. To tackle this issue, routing must take into account energy efficiency as well as capacity considerations; moreover, in rapidly-varying network environments, this must be accomplished in a real-time, distributed manner that remains robust in the presence of random disturbances and noise. In view of this, we derive a pricing scheme whose Nash equilibria coincide with the network’s socially optimum states, and we propose a distributed learning method based on the Boltzmann distribution of statistical mechanics. Using tools from stochastic calculus, we show that the resulting Boltzmann routing scheme exhibits remarkable convergence properties under uncertainty: specifically, the long-term average of the network’s power consumption converges within $\varepsilon$ of its minimum value in time which is at most $O(1/\varepsilon^2)$, irrespective of the fluctuations' magnitude; additionally, if the network admits a strict, non-mixing optimum state, the algorithm converges to it - again, no matter the noise level. Our analysis is supplemented by extensive numerical simulations which show that Boltzmann routing can lead to a significant decrease in power consumption over basic, shortest-path routing schemes in realistic network conditions.

arXiv link: https://arxiv.org/abs/1605.01451

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