Performance analysis and network path characterization for scalable internet streaming
Delivering high-quality of video to end users over the best-effort Internet is a challenging task since quality of streaming video is highly subject to network conditions. A fundamental issue in this area is how real-time applications cope with network dynamics and adapt their operational behavior to offer a favorable streaming environment to end users. As an effort towards providing such streaming environment, the first half of this work focuses on analyzing the performance of video streaming in best-effort networks and developing a new streaming framework that effectively utilizes unequal importance of video packets in rate control and achieves a near-optimal performance for a given network packet loss rate. In addition, we study error concealment methods such as FEC (Forward-Error Correction) that is often used to protect multimedia data over lossy network channels. We investigate the impact of FEC on the quality of video and develop models that can provide insights into understanding how inclusion of FEC affects streaming performance and its optimality and resilience characteristics under dynamically changing network conditions. In the second part of this thesis, we focus on measuring bandwidth of network paths, which plays an important role in characterizing Internet paths and can benefit many applications including multimedia streaming. We conduct a stochastic analysis of an end-to-end path and develop novel bandwidth sampling techniques that can produce asymptotically accurate capacity and available bandwidth of the path under non-trivial cross-traffic conditions. In addition, we conduct comparative performance study of existing bandwidth estimation tools in non-simulated networks where various timing irregularities affect delay measurements. We find that when high-precision packet timing is not available due to hardware interrupt moderation, the majority of existing algorithms are not robust to measure end-to-end paths with high accuracy. We overcome this problem by using signal de-noising techniques in bandwidth measurement. We also develop a new measurement tool called PRC-MT based on theoretical models that simultaneously measures the capacity and available bandwidth of the tight link with asymptotic accuracy.
Kang, Seong-Ryong (2008). Performance analysis and network path characterization for scalable internet streaming. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from