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Publication# Adaptive media streaming over multipath networks

Résumé

With the latest developments in video coding technology and fast deployment of end-user broadband internet connections, real-time media applications become increasingly interesting for both private users and businesses. However, the internet remains a best-effort service network unable to guarantee the stringent requirements of the media application, in terms of high, constant bandwidth, low packet loss rate and transmission delay. Therefore, efficient adaptation mechanisms must be derived in order to bridge the application requirements with the transport medium characteristics. Lately, different network architectures, e.g., peer-to-peer networks, content distribution networks, parallel wireless services, emerge as potential solutions for reducing the cost of communication or infrastructure, and possibly improve the application performance. In this thesis, we start from the path diversity characteristic of these architectures, in order to build a new framework, specific for media streaming in multipath networks. Within this framework we address important issues related to an efficient streaming process, namely path selection and rate allocation, forward error correction and packet scheduling over multiple transmission paths. First we consider a network graph between the streaming server and the client, offering multiple possible transmission paths to the media application. We are interested in finding the optimal subset of paths employed for data transmission, and the optimal rate allocation on these paths, in order to optimize a video distortion metric. Our in-depth analysis of the proposed scenario eventually leads to the derivation of three important theorems, which, in turn represent the basis for an optimal, linear time algorithm that finds the solution to our optimization problem. At the same time, we provide distributed protocols which compute the optimal solution in a distributed way, suitable for large scale network graphs, where a centralized solution is too expensive. Next, we address the problem of forward error correction for scalable media streaming over multiple network paths. We propose various algorithms for error protection in a multipath scenario, and we assess the opportunity of in-network error correction. Our analysis stresses the advantage of being flexible in the scheduling and error correction process on multiple network paths, and emphasizes the limitations of possible real systems implementations, where application choices are limited. Finally, we observe the improvements brought by in-network processing of transmitted media flows, in the case of heterogeneous networks, when link parameters vary greatly. Once the rate allocation and error correction issues are addressed, we discuss the packet scheduling problem over multiple transmission paths. We rely on a scalable bitstream packet model inspired from the media coding process, where media packets have different priorities and dependencies. Based on the concept of data pre-fetch, and on a strict time analysis of the transmission process, we propose fast algorithms for efficient packet scheduling over multiple paths. We ensure media graceful degradation at the client in adverse network conditions by careful load balancing among transmission paths, and by conservative scheduling which transparently absorb undetected network variations, or network estimation errors. The final part of this thesis presents a possible system for media streaming where our proposed mechanisms and protocols can be straightforwardly implemented. We describe a wireless setup where clients can access various applications over possibly multiple wireless services. In this setup, we solve the rate allocation problem with the final goal of maximizing the overall system performance. To this end, we propose a unifying quality metric which maps the individual performance of each application (including streaming) to a common value, later used in the optimization process. We propose a fast algorithm for computing a close to optimal solution to this problem and we show that compared to other traditional methods, we achieve a more fair performance, better adaptable to changing network environments.

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Concepts associés

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Concepts associés (35)

Streaming

vignette|Une configuration de pour la télédiffusion.
Le (du verbe anglais transitif , « transférer en mode continu »), flux, lecture en continu, lecture en transit, diffusion en continu ou diffusio

Algorithme

thumb|Algorithme de découpe d'un polygone quelconque en triangles (triangulation).
Un algorithme est une suite finie et non ambiguë d'instructions et d’opérations permettant de résoudre une classe de

Résolution de problème

vignette|Résolution d'un problème mathématique.
La résolution de problème est le processus d'identification puis de mise en œuvre d'une solution à un problème.
Méthodologie
Dans l'ind

Publications associées (123)

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We address the problem of joint path selection and rate allocation in multipath streaming in order to optimize a media specific quality of service. An optimization problem is proposed, which aims at minimizing a video distortion metric based on sequence-dependent parameters, and transmission channel characteristics, for a given network infrastructure. Even if in general, optimal path selection and rate allocation is an NP complete problem, an in-depth analysis of the media distortion evolution allows to define a low complexity algorithm for an optimal streaming strategy. In particular, we show that a greedy allocation of rate along paths with increasing error probability leads to an optimal solution. We argue that a network path shall not be chosen for transmission, unless all other available paths with lower error probability have been chosen. Moreover, the chosen paths should be used at their maximum available end-to-end bandwidth. Simulation results show that the optimal rate allocation carefully trades off total encoding/transmission rate, with the end-to-end transmission error probability and the number of chosen paths. In many cases, the optimal rate allocation provides more than 20% improvement in received video quality, compared to heuristic-based algorithms. This motivates its use in multipath networks, where it optimizes media specific quality of service, and simultaneously saves network resources, with very low computational complexity.

2005Recent advances in data processing and communication systems have led to a continuous increase in the amount of data communicated over today’s networks. These large volumes of data pose new challenges on the current networking infrastructure that only offers a best effort mechanism for data delivery. The emergence of new distributed network architectures, such as peer-to-peer networks and wireless mesh networks, and the need for efficient data delivery mechanisms have motivated researchers to reconsider the way that information is communicated and processed in the networks. This has given rise to a new research field called network coding. The network coding paradigm departs from the traditional routing principle where information is simply relayed by the network nodes towards the destination, and introduces some intelligence in the network through coding at the intermediate nodes. This in-network data processing has been proved to substantially improve the performance of data delivery systems in terms of throughput and error resilience in networks with high path diversity. Motivated by the promising results in the network coding research, we focus in this thesis on the design of network coding algorithms for simultaneous transmission of multiple data sources in overlay networks. We investigate several problems that arise in the context of inter-session network coding, namely (i) decoding delay minimization in inter-session network coding, (ii) distributed rate allocation for inter-session network coding and (iii) correlation-aware decoding of incomplete network coded data. We start by proposing a novel framework for data delivery from multiple sources to multiple clients in an overlay wireline network, where intermediate nodes employ randomized inter-session network coding. We consider networks with high resource diversity, which creates network coding opportunities with possibly large gains in terms of throughput, delay and error robustness. However, the coding operations in the intermediate nodes must be carefully designed in order to enable efficient data delivery. We look at the problem from the decoding delay perspective and design solutions that lead to a small decoding delay at clients through proper coding and rate allocation. We cast the optimization problem as a rate allocation problem, which seeks for the coding operations that minimize the average decoding delay in the client population. We demonstrate the validity of our algorithm through simulations in representative network topologies. The results show that an effective combination of intra- and inter-session network coding based on randomized linear coding permits to reach small decoding delays and to better exploit the available network resources even in challenging network settings. Next, we design a distributed rate allocation algorithm where the users decide locally how many intra- and inter-session network coded packets should be requested from the parent nodes in order to get minimal decoding delay. The capability to take coding decisions locally with only a partial knowledge of the network statistics is of crucial importance for applications where users are organized in dynamic overlay networks. We propose a receiver-driven communication protocol that operates in two rounds. First, the users request and obtain information regarding the network conditions and packet availability in their local neighborhood. Then, every user independently optimizes the rate allocation among different possible intra- and inter-session packet combinations to be requested from its parents. We also introduce the novel concept of equivalent flows, which permits to efficiently estimate the expected number of packets that are necessary for decoding and hence to simplify the rate allocation process. Experimental results indicate that our algorithm is capable of eliminating the bottlenecks and reducing the decoding delay of users with limited resources. We further investigate the application of the proposed distributed rate allocation algorithm to the transmission of video sequences and validate the performance of our system using the NS-3 simulator. The simulation results show that the proposed rate allocation algorithm is successful in improving the quality of the delivered video compared to intra-session network coding based solutions. Finally, we investigate the problem of decoding the source information from an incomplete set of network coded data with the help of source priors in a finite algebraic field. The inability to form a complete decoding system can be often caused by transmission losses or timing constraints imposed by the application. In this case, exact reconstruction of the source data by conventional algorithms such as Gaussian elimination is not feasible; however, partial recovery of the source data may still be possible, which can be useful in applications where approximate reconstruction is informative. We use the statistical characteristics of the source data in order to perform approximate decoding. We first analyze the performance of a hypothetical maximum a posteriori decoder, which recovers the source data from an incomplete set of network coded data given the joint statistics of the sources. We derive an upper bound on the probability of erroneous source sequence decoding as a function of the system parameters. We then propose a constructive solution to the approximate decoding problem and design an iterative decoding algorithm based on message passing, which jointly considers the network coding and the correlation constraints. We illustrate the performance of our decoding algorithm through extensive simulations on synthetic and real data sets. The results demonstrate that, even by using a simple correlation model expressed as a correlation noise between pairs of sources, the original source data can be partially decoded in practice from an incomplete set of network coded symbols. Overall, this thesis addresses several important issues related to the design of efficient data delivery methods with inter-session network coding. Our novel framework for decoding delay minimization can impact the development of practical inter-session network coding algorithms that are appropriate for applications with low delay requirements. Our rate allocation algorithms are able to exploit the high resource diversity of modern networking systems and represent an effective alternative in the development of distributed communication systems. Finally, our algorithm for data recovery from incomplete network coded data using correlation priors can contribute significantly to the improvement of the delivered data quality and provide new insights towards the design of joint source and network coding algorithms.

This paper addresses the problem of choosing the best streaming policy for distortion optimal multipath video delivery, under delay constraints. The streaming policy consists in a joint selection of the video packets to be transmitted, as well as their sending time, and the transmission path. A simple streaming model is introduced, which takes into account the video packet importance, and the dependencies among packets, and allows to compute the quality perceived by the receiver, as a function of the streaming policy. We derive an optimization problem based on the video abstraction model, under the assumption that the server knows, or can predict the state of the network. A detailed analysis of the timing constraints in multipath video streaming provides helpful insights that lead to an efficient algorithm to solve the NP-hard streaming policy optimization problem. We eventually propose a fast heuristic-based algorithm, that still provides close to optimal performance. Thanks to its limited complexity, this novel algorithm is finally demonstrated in live streaming scenarios, where it only induces a negligible distortion penalty compared to an optimal strategy. Simulation results finally show that the proposed scheduling solutions perform better than common scheduling algorithms, and represent very efficient multipath streaming strategies for both stored and live video services.

2004