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Efficient HTTP-based Adaptive Streaming of Linear and Interactive Videos
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Database and information techniques. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Online video streaming has gained tremendous popularity over recent years and currently constitutes the majority of Internet traffic. As large-scale on-demand streaming continues to gain popularity, several important questions and challenges remain unanswered. This thesis addresses open questions in the areas of efficient content delivery for HTTP-based Adaptive Streaming (HAS) from different perspectives (client, network and content provider) and in the design, implementation, and evaluation of interactive streaming applications over HAS.

As streaming usage scales and new streaming services emerge, continuous improvements are required to both the infrastructure and the techniques used to deliver high-quality streams. In the context of Content Delivery Network (CDN) nodes or proxies, this thesis investigates the interaction between HAS clients and proxy caches. In particular, we propose and evaluate classes of content-aware and collaborative policies that take advantage of information that is already available, or share information among elements in the delivery chain, where all involved parties can benefit. Asides from the users’ playback experience, it is also important for content providers to minimize users’ startup times. We have designed and evaluated different classes of client-side policies that can prefetch data from the videos that the users are most likely to watch next, without negatively affecting the currently watched video. To help network providers to monitor and ensure that their customers enjoy good playback experiences, we have proposed and evaluated techniques that can be used to estimate clients’ current buffer conditions. Since several services today stream over HTTPS, our solution is adapted to predict client buffer conditions by only observing encrypted network-level traffic. Our solution allows the operator to identify clients with low-buffer conditions and implement policies that help avoid playback stalls.

The emergence of HAS as the de facto standard for delivering streaming content also opens the door to use it to deliver the next generation of streaming services, such as various forms of interactive services. This class of services is gaining popularity and is expected to be the next big thing in entertainment. For the area of interactive streaming, this thesis proposes, models, designs, and evaluates novel streaming applications such as interactive branched videos and multi-video stream bundles. For these applications, we design and evaluate careful prefetching policies that provides seamless playback (without stalls or switching delay) even when interactive branched video viewers defer their choices to the last possible moment and when users switches between alternative streams within multi-video stream bundles. Using optimization frameworks, we design and implement effective buffer management techniques for seamless playback experiences and evaluate several tradeoffs using our policies.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2018. , p. 72
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1902
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-143802DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-143802ISBN: 9789176853719 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-143802DiVA, id: diva2:1180723
Public defence
2018-03-13, Ada Lovelace, B-huset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
CUGS (National Graduate School in Computer Science)Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2018-02-12 Created: 2018-02-06 Last updated: 2018-02-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Helping Hand or Hidden Hurdle: Proxy-assisted HTTP-based Adaptive Streaming Performance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Helping Hand or Hidden Hurdle: Proxy-assisted HTTP-based Adaptive Streaming Performance
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2013 (English)In: Modeling, Analysis & Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems (MASCOTS), 2013 IEEE 21st International Symposium, IEEE , 2013, p. 182-191Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

HTTP-based Adaptive Streaming (HAS) has become a widely-used video delivery technology. Use of HTTP enables relatively easy firewall/NAT traversal and content caching. While caching is an important aspect of HAS, there is not much public research on the performance impact proxies and their policies have on HAS. In this paper we build an experimental framework using open source Squid proxies and the most recent Open Source Media Framework (OSMF). A range of content-aware policies can be implemented in the proxies and tested, while the player software can be instrumented to measure performance as seen at the client. Using this framework, the paper makes three main contributions. First, we present a scenario-based performance evaluation of the latest version of the OSMF player. Second, we quantify the benefits using different proxy-assisted solutions, including basic best effort policies and more advanced content quality aware prefetching policies. Finally, we present and evaluate a cooperative framework in which clients and proxies share information to improve performance. In general, the bottleneck location and network conditions play central roles in which policy choices are most advantageous, as they significantly impact the relative performance differences between policy classes. We conclude that careful design and policy selection is important when trying to enhance HAS performance using proxy assistance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2013
Series
Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation of Com puter and Telecommunications Systems, ISSN 1526-7539
Keywords
HTTP-based adaptive streaming, Proxy assisted
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105282 (URN)10.1109/MASCOTS.2013.26 (DOI)978-0-7695-5102-9 (ISBN)978-1-4799-1209-4 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE 21st International Symposium on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems (MASCOTS), 14-16 August 2013, San Francisco, CA, USA
Available from: 2014-03-15 Created: 2014-03-15 Last updated: 2018-02-06Bibliographically approved
2. Bandwidth-aware Prefetching for Proactive Multi-video Preloading and Improved HAS Performance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bandwidth-aware Prefetching for Proactive Multi-video Preloading and Improved HAS Performance
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2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Multimedia (ACM Multimedia), New York, USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2015, p. 551-560Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper considers the problem of providing users playing one streaming video the option of instantaneous and seamless playback of alternative videos. Recommendation systems can easily provide a list of alternative videos, but there is little research on how to best eliminate the startup time for these alternative videos. The problem is motivated by services that want to retain increasingly impatient users, who frequently watch the beginning of multiple videos, before viewing a video to the end. We present the design, implementation, and evaluation of an HTTP-based Adaptive Streaming (HAS) solution that provides careful prefetching and buffer management. We also present the design and evaluation of three fundamental policy classes that provide different tradeoffs between how aggressively new alternative videos are prefetched versus the importance of ensuring high playback quality. We show that our solution allows us to reduce the startup times of alternative videos by an order of magnitude and effectively adapt the quality such as to ensure the highest possible playback quality of the video being viewed. By improving the channel utilization we also address the discrimination problem that HAS clients often suffer from, allowing us to in some cases simultaneously improve the playback quality of the video being viewed and provide the value-added service of allowing instantaneous playback of the prefetched alternative videos.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2015
Keywords
HTTP-based adaptive streaming (HAS); Bandwidth-aware prefetching; Multi-video preloading; Seamless playback
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-128168 (URN)10.1145/2733373.2806270 (DOI)000387861300064 ()978-1-4503-3459-4 (ISBN)
Conference
ACM Multimedia 2015
Available from: 2016-05-20 Created: 2016-05-19 Last updated: 2018-02-06
3. BUFFEST: Predicting Buffer Conditions and Real-time Requirements of HTTP(S) Adaptive Streaming Clients
Open this publication in new window or tab >>BUFFEST: Predicting Buffer Conditions and Real-time Requirements of HTTP(S) Adaptive Streaming Clients
2017 (English)In: MMSys’17, Proceedings of the 8th ACM on Multimedia Systems Conference, ACM , 2017, p. 76-87Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Stalls during video playback are perhaps the most important indicator of a client's viewing experience. To provide the best possible service, a proactive network operator may therefore want to know the buffer conditions of streaming clients and use this information to help avoid stalls due to empty buffers. However, estimation of clients' buffer conditions is complicated by most streaming services being rate-adaptive, and many of them also encrypted. Rate adaptation reduces the correlation between network throughput and client buffer conditions. Usage of HTTPS prevents operators from observing information related to video chunk requests, such as indications of rate adaptation or other HTTP-level information.; AB@This paper presents BUFFEST, a novel classification framework that can be used to classify and predict streaming clients' buffer conditions from both HTTP and HTTPS traffic. To illustrate the tradeoffs between prediction accuracy and the available information used by classifiers, we design and evaluate classifiers of different complexity. At the core of BUFFEST is an event-based buffer emulator module for detailed analysis of clients' buffer levels throughout a streaming session, as well as for automated training and evaluation of online packet-level classifiers. We then present example results using simple threshold-based classifiers and machine learning classifiers that only use TCP/IP packet-level information. Our results are encouraging and show that BUFFEST can distinguish streaming clients with low buffer conditions from clients with significant buffer margin during a session even when HTTPS is used.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ACM, 2017
Keywords
Buffer condition estimation, HTTP-based adaptive streaming, HTTPS, Real-time requirements
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-140913 (URN)10.1145/3083187.3083193 (DOI)978-1-4503-5002-0 (ISBN)
Conference
8th ACM Conference on Multimedia Systems, June 20-23, 2017, Taipei, Taiwan
Available from: 2017-09-15 Created: 2017-09-15 Last updated: 2018-02-06
4. Empowering the creative user: personalized HTTP-based adaptive streaming of multi-path nonlinear video
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Empowering the creative user: personalized HTTP-based adaptive streaming of multi-path nonlinear video
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2013 (English)In: FhMN '13 Proceedings of the 2013 ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Future human-centric multimedia networking, New York, USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2013, p. 53-58Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the design, implementation, and validation of a novel system that supports streaming and playout of personalized, multi-path, nonlinear video. In contrast to regular video, in which the file content is played sequentially, our design allows multiple nonlinear video sequences of the underlying (linear) video to be stitched together and played in any personalized order, and clients can be provided multiple path choices. The design combines the ideas of HTTP-based adaptive streaming (HAS) and multi-path nonlinear video. Personalization of the content is achieved with the use of a customized metafile, which is downloaded separately from the underlying media and the manifest file that defines the HAS structure. An extension to the user interface allows path choices to be presented to and made by the user. Novel buffer management and prefetching policies are used to ensure seamless uninterrupted playback regardless of client path choices, even under scenarios in which clients defer their choices until the last possible moment. Our solution allows creative home users to easily create their own multi-path nonlinear video, opening the door to an endless possibility of new opportunities and media forms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, USA: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2013
Keywords
HTTP-based adaptive streaming, Multi-path video, Nonlinear video, Seamless playback
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-96695 (URN)10.1145/2491172.2491183 (DOI)978-1-4503-2183-9 (ISBN)
Conference
ACM SIGCOMM 2013, Hong Kong, China, 12-16 August 2013
Note

Nominated as the Best Paper in the 2013 ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Future human-centric Multimedia Networking (FhMN)

Available from: 2013-08-23 Created: 2013-08-23 Last updated: 2018-02-06Bibliographically approved
5. Quality-adaptive prefetching for interactive branched video using HTTP-based Adaptive Streaming
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quality-adaptive prefetching for interactive branched video using HTTP-based Adaptive Streaming
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2014 (English)In: MM 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Conference on Multimedia, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc , 2014, p. 317-326Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Interactive branched video that allows users to select their own paths through the video, provides creative content designers with great personalization opportunities; however, such video also introduces significant new challenges for the system developer. For example, without careful prefetching and buffer management, the use of multiple alternative playback paths can easily result in playback interruptions. In this paper, we present a full implementation of an interactive branched video player using HTTP-based Adaptive Streaming (HAS) that provides seamless playback even when the users defer their branch path choices to the last possible moment. Our design includes optimized prefetching policies that we derive under a simple optimization framework, effective buffer management of prefetched data, and the use of parallel TCP connections to achieve efficient buffer workahead. Through performance evaluation under a wide range of scenarios, we show that our optimized policies can effectively prefetch data of carefully selected qualities along multiple alternative paths such as to ensure seamless playback, offering users a pleasant viewing experience without playback interruptions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, 2014
Series
MM 2014 - Proceedings of the 2014 ACM Conference on Multimedia
Keywords
Branched video; HTTP-based Adaptive Streaming (HAS); Multipath/nonlinear streaming; Seamless playback
National Category
Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-116449 (URN)10.1145/2647868.2654951 (DOI)2-s2.0-84913597570 (Scopus ID)9781450330633 (ISBN)
Conference
2014 ACM Conference on Multimedia, MM 2014
Available from: 2015-03-27 Created: 2015-03-26 Last updated: 2018-02-06
6. Optimized Adaptive Streaming of Multi-video Stream Bundles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Optimized Adaptive Streaming of Multi-video Stream Bundles
2017 (English)In: IEEE transactions on multimedia, ISSN 1520-9210, E-ISSN 1941-0077, Vol. 19, no 7, p. 1637-1653Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In contrast to traditional video, multi-view video streaming allows viewers to interactively switch among multiple perspectives provided by different cameras. One approach to achieve such a service is to encode the video from all of the cameras into a single stream, but this has the disadvantage that only a portion of the received video data will be used, namely that required for the selected view at each point in time. In this paper, we introduce the concept of a multi-video stream bundle that consists of multiple parallel video streams that are synchronized in time, each providing the video from a different camera capturing the same event or movie. For delivery we leverage the adaptive features and time-based chunking of HTTP-based adaptive streaming, but now employing adaptation in both content and rate. Users are able to change their viewpoint on-demand and the client player adapts the rate at which data are retrieved from each stream based on the users current view, the probabilities of switching to other views, and the users current bandwidth conditions. A crucial component of such a system is the prefetching policy. For this we present an optimization model as well as a simpler heuristic that can balance the playback quality and the probability of playback interruptions. After analytically and numerically characterizing the optimal solution, we present a prototype implementation and sample results. Our prefetching and buffer management solution is shown to provide close to seamless playback switching when there is sufficient bandwidth to prefetch the parallel streams.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE-INST ELECTRICAL ELECTRONICS ENGINEERS INC, 2017
Keywords
HTTP-based adaptive streaming (HAS); multi-view video streaming; multi-video stream bundles; optimized prefetching; seamless stream switching
National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-139270 (URN)10.1109/TMM.2017.2673412 (DOI)000404061800019 ()
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council (VR); Center for Industrial Information Technology (CENIIT); Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Available from: 2017-07-07 Created: 2017-07-07 Last updated: 2018-02-06

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