IEEE OPEN JOURNAL OF THE COMMUNICATIONS SOCIETY, vol.3, pp.1963-1977, 2022 (ESCI)
The undeniable potential of computation offloading has been attracting attention from researchers for more than a decade. With advances in multi-access edge computing (MEC), computation offloading has become a more critical issue because of the heterogeneity in the computational power of edge devices and the elevated importance of extending their lifespan. Due to the apparent advantages, the use of MEC in 6G networks, where a vertical heterogeneous network composed of space, air, and ground networks is only natural. The non-terrestrial networking elements constitute effective computational resources. However, recent research investigating the potential of computational offloading in 6G networks has involved models that do not adequately reflect the complexity of the underlying processes. In this study, we propose a realistic computation model for 6G networks that considers crucial properties of the offloaded job, including the inter-dependency of the job tasks and the decomposability of the job. Our model is based on the mature application domain of MEC, where proven solutions are already studied. We also investigate the potential of a high altitude platform station (HAPS)-aided MEC platform using this model. The proposed model allows us to design offloading strategies to enable adaptive computational offloading. Through numerical analyses, we show that the proposed model provides sufficient insight to reduce the total processing time significantly.