UAV-Assisted Edge Computing and Streaming for Wireless Virtual Reality: Analysis, Algorithm Design, and Performance Guarantees

Liang Zhang, Jacob Chakareski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Emerging virtual reality (VR) applications require high data rate transmission and low end-to-end latency, which has become one of the main challenges for future wireless networks. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) mounted base stations and computing facilities can be used to provide better wireless connectivity and computing services to edge VR users to meet their computing needs and reduce the end-to-end latency. We propose a novel UAV assisted mobile edge computing (MEC) network to enable high-quality mobile 360-degree video VR applications by leveraging UAVs to provide the required communication and computing needs. Then, we formulate the joint UAV placement, MEC and radio resource allocation, and 360-degree video content layer assignment (UAV-MV) problem, which aims to select the allocation of computing and communications resources and the location of the UAVs such that the delivered quality of experience (QoE) is maximized across the mobile VR users, given various system constraints. We show that the problem is NP-hard, and decompose it into three lower-complexity subproblems that we solve sequentially. We design an approximation algorithm with performance guarantees that solves the UAV-MV problem based on the solutions to the three subproblems. Our simulation results show that the average QoE enabled by the proposed algorithm is 15% and 90% greater relative to two competitive reference methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3267-3275
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Automotive Engineering


  • 360-degree video
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)
  • joint resource allocation
  • mobile edge computing (MEC)
  • virtual reality
  • wireless 360-degree video streaming


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