DeepMigration: Flow Migration for NFV with Graph-based Deep Reinforcement Learning

Penghao Sun, Julong Lan, Zehua Guo, Di Zhang, Xianfu Chen, Yuxiang Hu, Zhi Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Network Function Virtualization (NFV) enables flexible deployment of network services as applications. Network operators expect to use a limited number of Network Function (NF) instances to handle the fluctuating traffic load and provide network services. However, it is a big challenge to guarantee the Quality of Service (QoS) under the unpredictable network traffic while minimizing the processing resources. One typical solution is to realize NF scale-out, scale-in and load balancing by elastically migrating the related traffic flows with SoftwareDefined Networking (SDN). However, it is difficult to optimally migrate flows since many real-time statuses of NF instances should be considered to make accurate decisions. In this paper, we propose DeepMigration to solve the problem by efficiently and dynamically migrating traffic flows among different NF instances. DeepMigration is a Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL)-based solution coupled with Graph Neural Network (GNN). By taking advantages of the graph-based relationship deduction ability from our customized GNN and the self-evolution ability from the experience training of DRL, DeepMigration can accurately model the cost (e.g., migration latency) and the benefit (e.g., reducing the number of NF instances) of flow migration among different NF instances and generate dynamic and effective flow migration policies to improve the QoS. Experiment results show that DeepMigration requires less migration cost and saves up to 71.6{%} of the computation time than existing solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 IEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2020 - Proceedings
PublisherIEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-5089-5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2020 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 7 Jun 202011 Jun 2020

Publication series

SeriesIEEE International Conference on Communications


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Communications, ICC 2020


  • Deep Reinforcement Learning
  • Flow Migration
  • Graph Neural Network
  • Network Function Virtualization


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