The Internet of things (IoT) is becoming more and more flexible and economical with the advancement in information and communication technologies. However, IoT networks will be ultra-dense with the explosive growth of IoT devices. Network function virtualization (NFV) emerges to provide flexible network frameworks and efficient resource management for the performance of IoT networks. In NFV-enabled IoT infrastructure, service function chain (SFC) is an ordered combination of virtual network functions (VNFs) that are related to each other based on the logic of IoT applications. However, the embedding process of SFC to IoT networks is becoming a big challenge due to the dynamic nature of IoT networks and the abundance of IoT terminals. In this paper, we decompose the complex VNFs into smaller virtual network function components (VNFCs) to make more effective decisions since VNF nodes and IoT network devices are usually heterogeneous. In addition, a deep reinforcement learning (DRL) based scheme with experience replay and target network is proposed as a solution that can efficiently handle complex and dynamic SFC embedding scenarios in IoT. Our simulations consider different types of IoT network topologies. The simulation results present the efficiency of the proposed dynamic SFC embedding scheme.

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IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
Department of Systems and Computer Engineering

Fu, X. (Xiaoyuan), Yu, F.R, Wang, J. (Jingyu), Qi, Q. (Qi), & Liao, J. (Jianxin). (2020). Dynamic Service Function Chain Embedding for NFV-Enabled IoT: A Deep Reinforcement Learning Approach. IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, 19(1), 507–519. doi:10.1109/TWC.2019.2946797