GLOBECOM 2017, IEEE Global Communications Conference, December 4-8, 2017, Singapore, Singapore
Pushing popular content to cheap "helper" nodes (e.g., small cells with local storage) during off-peak hours has recently been proposed to cope with the increase in mobile
data traffic. If the requested content is available locally at a helper node, both user and operator performance could benefit. Nevertheless, the collective storage of a few nearby helper nodes does not usually suffice to achieve a high hit rate in practice. In this paper, we investigate the concept of "soft cache hits" where, if the original content is not available, some locally cached related contents can be recommended. Given that Internet
content consumption is entertainment-oriented, we argue that there exist scenarios where a user might accept an alternative content (e.g., better download rate for alternative content, low rate plans), thus avoiding to access expensive/congested links. We formulate the problem of optimal edge caching with soft cache hits in a sufficiently generic setup, propose an efficient algorithm, and analyze the expected gains. We then show using synthetic and real datasets of related video contents that promising caching gains could be achieved in practice.
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