Rate-Distortion Optimized Distributed Packet Scheduling of Multiple Video Streams over Shared Communication Resources

We consider the problem of distributed packet selection and scheduling for multiple video streams sharing a communication channel. An optimization framework is proposed, that enables the multiple senders to coordinate their packet transmission schedules, such that the average quality over all video clients is maximized. The framework relies on rate-distortion information that is used to characterize a video packet. This information consists of two quantities: the size of the packet in bits, and its importance for the reconstruction quality of the corresponding stream. A distributed streaming strategy then allows for trading off rate and distortion, not only within a single video stream, but also across different streams. Each of the senders allocates to its own video packets a share of the bandwidth available on the communication channel, that is proportional to the relative importance of these packets. We evaluate the performance of the distributed packet scheduling algorithm for two canonical problems in streaming media, namely adaptation to available bandwidth and adaptation to packet loss. Simulation results demonstrate that, for the difficult case of scheduling non-scalably encoded video streams, our framework is shown to be very efficient in terms of video quality, both over all streams jointly and also over the individual videos. Compared to a conventional streaming system that does not consider the relative importance of the video packets, the gains in performance range up to 6 dB for the scenario of bandwidth adaptation and even up to 10 dB for the scenario of random packet loss adaptation.

Published in:
IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, 8, 2, 207-218

 Record created 2006-06-14, last modified 2018-03-17

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