ActiveSTB: an efficient wireless resource manager in home networks
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The rapid growth of new wireless and mobile devices accessing the internet has led to an increase in the demand for multimedia streaming services. These home-based wireless connections require efficient distribution of shared network resources which is a major concern for the transport of stored video. In our study, a set-top box is the access point between the internet and a home network. Our main goal is to design a set-top box capable of performing network flow control in a home network and capable of quality adaptation of the delivered stream quality to the available bandwidth. To achieve our main goal, estimating the available bandwidth quickly and precisely is the first task in the decision of streaming rates of layered and scalable multimedia services. We present a novel bandwidth estimation method called IdleGap that uses the NAV (Network Allocation Vector) information in the wireless LAN. We will design a new set-top box that will implement IdleGap and perform buffering and quality adaptation to a wireless network based on the IdleGap’s bandwidth estimate. We use a network simulation tool called NS-2 to evaluate IdleGap and our ActiveSTB compared to traditional STBs. We performed several tests simulating network conditions over various ranges of cross traffic with different error rates and observation times. Our simulation results reveal how IdleGap accurately estimates the available bandwidth for all ranges of cross traffic (100Kbps ~ 1Mbps) with a very short observation time (10 seconds). Test results also reveal how our novel ActiveSTB outperforms traditional STBs and provides good QoS to the end-user by reducing latency and excess bandwidth consumption.
Hall, Varrian Durand (2006). ActiveSTB: an efficient wireless resource manager in home networks. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from