Placing virtual machines to optimize cloud gaming experience

Hua Jun Hong, De Yu Chen, Chun-Ying Huang, Kuan Ta Chen, Cheng Hsin Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Optimizing cloud gaming experience is no easy task due to the complex tradeoff between gamer quality of experience (QoE) and provider net profit. We tackle the challenge and study an optimization problem to maximize the cloud gaming provider's total profit while achieving just-good-enough QoE. We conduct measurement studies to derive the QoE and performance models. We formulate and optimally solve the problem. The optimization problem has exponential running time, and we develop an efficient heuristic algorithm. We also present an alternative formulation and algorithms for closed cloud gaming services with dedicated infrastructures, where the profit is not a concern and overall gaming QoE needs to be maximized. We present a prototype system and testbed using off-the-shelf virtualization software, to demonstrate the practicality and efficiency of our algorithms. Our experience on realizing the testbed sheds some lights on how cloud gaming providers may build up their own profitable services. Last, we conduct extensive trace-driven simulations to evaluate our proposed algorithms. The simulation results show that the proposed heuristic algorithms: (i) produce close-to-optimal solutions, (ii) scale to large cloud gaming services with 20,000 servers and 40,000 gamers, and (iii) outperform the state-of-the-art placement heuristic, e.g., by up to 3.5 times in terms of net profits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6853364
Pages (from-to)42-53
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Cloud gaming
  • live video streaming
  • performance evaluation
  • performance optimization
  • real-time encoding
  • remote rendering


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