Monetizing Edge Service in Mobile Internet Ecosystem


In the mobile Internet ecosystem, mobile users (MUs) purchase wireless data services from Internet service providers (ISPs) in order to access the Internet, and they acquire the content services (like online games) that they are interested in from content providers (CP). The proliferation of intelligent functions such as artificial intelligence and three-dimensional modeling, for example, drives up the level of computation required by content services. This, in turn, places a greater burden on the limited computational capabilities of mobile user devices. To this end, edge computing service is emerging as a promising approach to alleviate the MUs' computation pressure while maintaining their quality-of-service. This is accomplished by offloading some of the MUs' computation tasks to edge (computing) servers that are deployed at the local network edge. In this way, the MUs' computation pressure is alleviated while their quality-of-service is maintained. As a result, edge service providers (ESP), who are responsible for the deployment of edge servers and the provision of edge computing services, have emerged as potential new ecosystem stakeholders. In this work, we study the economic interactions of MUs, ISPs, CPs, and ESPs in the new ecosystem with edge computing service. In this ecosystem, MUs can acquire the computation-intensive content services (offered by CP) and offload some computation tasks, along with the necessary raw input data, to edge servers (deployed by ESP), which are connected to them through ISPs. Our first order of business is to investigate the Joint Content Acquisition and Task Offloading (J-CATO) problem, the goal of which is to maximize the MU's long-term payoff. We first develop an off-line solution that includes essential insights, and then, using that as a foundation, we design an online strategy that has demonstrable results. After that, we investigate the challenge of monetizing the ESP's edge service. A pricing policy that can achieve a constant fraction of the ex post optimal revenue while also incurring an additional constant loss for the ESP is what we propose. According to the numerical findings, the edge computing service has the potential to increase the payoffs for MUs, ISPs, and CPs while also stimulating the MUs' content acquisition.

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