ASAP: Adaptive stall-aware pacing for improved DASH video experience in cellular networks

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Zahran, Ahmed H.
Quinlan, Jason J.
Ramakrishnan, K. K.
Sreenan, Cormac J.
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The dramatic growth of video traffic represents a practical challenge for cellular network operators in providing a consistent streaming Quality of Experience (QoE) to their users. Satisfying this objective has so-far proved elusive, due to the inherent characteristics of wireless networks and varying channel conditions as well as variability in the video bitrate that can degrade streaming performance. In this article, we propose stall-aware pacing as a novel MPEG DASH video traffic management solution that reduces playback stalls and seeks to maintain a consistent QoE for cellular users, even those with diverse channel conditions. These goals are achieved by leveraging both network and client state information to optimize the pacing of individual video flows. We evaluate the performance of two versions of stall-aware pacing techniques extensively, including stall-aware pacing (SAP) and adaptive stall-aware pacing (ASAP), using real video content and clients, operating over a simulated LTE network. We implement state-of-the-art client adaptation and traffic management strategies for direct comparisons with SAP and ASAP. Our results, using a heavily loaded base station, show that SAP reduces the number of stalls and the average stall duration per session by up to 95%. Additionally, SAP ensures that clients with good channel conditions do not dominate available wireless resources, evidenced by a reduction of up to 40% in the standard deviation of the QoE metric across clients. We also show that ASAP achieves additional performance gains by adaptively pacing video streams based on the application buffer state.
Information systems , Multimedia streaming , Networks , Network performance , Modeling , Network simulations , Adaptive bitrate video streaming , DASH , QoE , Separable programming
Zahran, A. H., Quinlan, J. J., Ramakrishnan, K. K. and Sreenan, C. J. (2018) 'ASAP: Adaptive Stall-Aware Pacing for Improved DASH Video Experience in Cellular Networks', ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications (TOMM), 14(3s), pp. 1-23. doi: 10.1145/3219750
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