Literature Database Entry


Zhi Li, Xiaoqing Zhu, J. Gahm, Rong Pan, Hao Hu, A.C. Begen and D. Oran, "Probe and Adapt: Rate Adaptation for HTTP Video Streaming At Scale," IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 32 (4), pp. 719-733, April 2014.


Today, the technology for video streaming over the Internet is converging towards a paradigm named HTTP-based adaptive streaming (HAS), which brings two new features. First, by using HTTP/TCP, it leverages network-friendly TCP to achieve both firewall/NAT traversal and bandwidth sharing. Second, by pre-encoding and storing the video in a number of discrete rate levels, it introduces video bitrate adaptivity in a scalable way so that the video encoding is excluded from the closed-loop adaptation. A conventional wisdom in HAS design is that since the TCP throughput observed by a client would indicate the available network bandwidth, it could be used as a reliable reference for video bitrate selection. We argue that this is no longer true when HAS becomes a substantial fraction of the total network traffic. We show that when multiple HAS clients compete at a network bottleneck, the discrete nature of the video bitrates results in difficulty for a client to correctly perceive its fair-share bandwidth. Through analysis and test bed experiments, we demonstrate that this fundamental limitation leads to video bitrate oscillation and "probe, other undesirable behaviors that negatively impact the video viewing experience. We therefore argue that it is necessary to design at the application layer using a and adapt" principle for video bitrate adaptation (where "probe" refers to trial increment of the data rate, instead of sending auxiliary piggybacking traffic), which is akin, but also orthogonal to the transport-layer TCP congestion control. We present PANDA - a client-side rate adaptation algorithm for HAS - as a practical embodiment of this principle. Our test bed results show that compared to conventional algorithms, PANDA is able to reduce the instability of video bitrate selection by over 75\% without increasing the risk of buffer underrun.

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Zhi Li
Xiaoqing Zhu
J. Gahm
Rong Pan
Hao Hu
A.C. Begen
D. Oran

BibTeX reference

    author = {Li, Zhi and Zhu, Xiaoqing and Gahm, J. and Pan, Rong and Hu, Hao and Begen, A.C. and Oran, D.},
    title = {{Probe and Adapt: Rate Adaptation for HTTP Video Streaming At Scale}},
    journal = {IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications},
    pages = {719-733},
    volume = {32},
    number = {4},
    keywords = {Internet;hypermedia;telecommunication congestion control;telecommunication traffic;transport protocols;video coding;video streaming;HTTP based adaptive streaming;HTTP video streaming;Internet;NAT traversal;PANDA;TCP congestion control;bandwidth sharing;client side rate adaptation algorithm;closed loop adaptation;firewall;network traffic;probe and adapt principle;video bitrate adaptivity;video encoding;Adaptation models;Bandwidth;Bit rate;Oscillators;Probes;Streaming media;Throughput;CDN;DASH;HAS;HTTP Adaptive Streaming;TCP;Video},
    year = {2014},
    month = {April},
    publisher = {IEEE},
    issn = {0733-8716},
    doi = {10.1109/JSAC.2014.140405},

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