A clustering approach to edge controller placement in software-defined networks with cost balancing

Reza Soleymanifar, Amber Srivastava, Carolyn Beck, Srinivasa Salapaka

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In this work we introduce two novel maximum entropy based clustering algorithms to address the problem of Edge Controller Placement (ECP) in wireless edge networks. These networks lie at the core of the fifth generation (5G) wireless systems and beyond. Our algorithms, ECP-LL and ECP-LB, address the dominant leader-less and leader-based controller placement topologies and have linear computational complexity in terms of network size, number of clusters and dimensionality of data. Each algorithm places controllers close to edge node clusters and not far away from other controllers to maintain a reasonable balance between synchronization and delay costs. While the ECP problem can be expressed as a multi-objective mixed integer nonlinear program (MINLP), our algorithms outperform state of the art MINLP solver, BARON both in terms of accuracy and speed. Our proposed algorithms have the competitive edge of avoiding poor local minima through a Shannon entropy term in the clustering objective function. Most ECP algorithms are highly susceptible to poor local minima and greatly depend on initialization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2642-2647
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020
Event21st IFAC World Congress 2020 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: Jul 12 2020Jul 17 2020


  • 5G networks
  • Clustering
  • Deterministic annealing
  • Edge controller placement
  • Software-defined networks
  • Wireless edge networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering


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