Datacenters and Energy Efficiency: A Game-Theoretic Perspective
Sharing datacenter hardware improves energy efficiency, but whether strategic users participate in consolidated systems depends on management policies. Users who dislike allocations may refuse to participate and deploy private, less-efficient systems. We rethink systems management, drawing on game theory to model strategic behavior and incentivize participation. We illustrate this perspective for two fundamental challenges in datacenters. For power delivery, we design sprinting games to produce equilibria in which users selfishly draw power for performance boosts yet avoid oversubscribing the shared supply. For resource allocation, we use Cobb-Douglas utility functions to produce fair allocations that incentivize users to share cache and memory. These solutions provide foundations for rigorously managing systems shared by strategic, competitive participants.
Benjamin Lee is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. He received his B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley (2004), his Ph.D. from Harvard University (2008), and his post-doctorate from Stanford University (2010). He has held visiting positions at Microsoft Research, Intel Labs, and Lawrence Livermore National Lab. Dr. Lee’s research interests include computer architecture, energy efficiency, and security / privacy. He pursues these interests by building interdisciplinary links to statistical inference and algorithmic economics. His research has been recognized by IEEE Micro Top Picks (4x), Communications of the ACM Research Highlights (3x), as well as paper honors from the ASPLOS, HPCA, MICRO, and SC conferences. He received the NSF Computing Innovation Fellowship, NSF CAREER Award, and Google Faculty Research Award.