Distributed rate allocation in switch-based multiparty videoconference

Multiparty videoconferences, or more generally multiparty video calls, are gaining a lot of popularity as they offer a rich communication experience. These applications have however, large requirements in terms of both network and computational resources and have to deal with sets of heterogenous clients. The multiparty videoconferencing systems can be grouped in two classes. They are based either on expensive central nodes, called multipoint control units (MCU), with transcoding capabilities, or, on a peer-to-peer strategy where users help each other to distribute the different video streams. Whereas the first one requires an expensive central hardware, the second one depends completely on the redistribution capacity of the users, which sometimes might neither provide sufficient bandwidth nor be reliable enough. In this work we propose an alternative solution where we use a central node to distribute the video streams but at the same time we maintain the hardware complexity and the computational requirements of this node as low as possible. The proposed solution uses a distributed algorithm to allocate the users' rates in a Quality of Service (QoS) aware manner. The allocation algorithm is also extremely fast and is able to quickly reallocate the rates in case the conditions change. We have further implemented our solution in a network simulator where we show that our rate allocation algorithm is able to properly optimize users' QoS and adapt to dynamic changes in the system. We also illustrate the benefits of our solution in terms network usage and average utility when compared to a baseline heuristic method operating on the same system architecture.

Published in:
Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Multimedia Systems
Presented at:
7th International Conference on Multimedia Systems, Klagenfurt, Austria, May 10-13, 2016

 Record created 2017-01-20, last modified 2019-03-17

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