August 14, 2017

The exact rate-memory tradeoff for caching with uncoded prefetching

  • Avestimehr A.
  • Maddah-Ali M.
  • Yu Q.

We consider a cache network, where a single server is connected to multiple users via a shared bottleneck link. The server has a set of files, which can be cached by each user in a prefetching phase. In a following delivery phase, each user requests a file and the server delivers user demands as efficiently as possible by taking into account their cache contents. We focus on an important and commonly used class of prefetching schemes, where the caches are filled with uncoded data. We provide the exact characterization of rate-memory tradeoff for this problem, by deriving both the minimum average rate (for a uniform file popularity) and the minimum peak rate required on the bottleneck link for a given cache size available at each user. We propose a novel caching scheme, which strictly improves the state of the art by exploiting commonality among user demands. We then demonstrate the exact optimality of our proposed scheme through a matching converse, by dividing the set of all demands into types, and showing that the placement phase in the proposed caching scheme is universally optimal for all types. Using these techniques, we can also fully characterize the rate-memory tradeoff for a decentralized setting, in which users fill out their cache content without coordination.

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