Accurate Learning or Fast Mixing? Dynamic Adaptability of Caching Algorithms Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • Typical analysis of content caching algorithms using the metric of steady state hit probability under a stationary request process does not account for performance loss under a variable request arrival process. In this work, we consider adaptability of caching algorithms from two perspectives: (a) the accuracy of learning a fixed popularity distribution, and (b) the speed of learning items' popularity. In order to attain this goal, we compute the distance between the stationary distributions of several popular algorithms with that of a genie-aided algorithm that has knowledge of the true popularity ranking, which we use as a measure of learning accuracy. We then characterize the mixing time of each algorithm, i.e., the time needed to attain the stationary distribution, which we use as a measure of learning efficiency. We merge both measures above to obtain the "learning error" representing both how quickly and how accurately an algorithm learns the optimal caching distribution, and use this to determine the trade-off between these two objectives of many popular caching algorithms. Informed by the results of our analysis, we propose a novel hybrid algorithm, Adaptive-LRU (A-LRU), that learns both faster and better the changes in the popularity. We show numerically that it also outperforms all other candidate algorithms when confronted with either a dynamically changing synthetic request process or using real world traces.

author list (cited authors)

  • Li, J., Shakkottai, S., Lui, J., & Subramanian, V.

complete list of authors

  • Li, Jian||Shakkottai, Srinivas||Lui, John CS||Subramanian, Vijay

Book Title

  • arXiv

publication date

  • January 2017