A novel multimedia adaptation architecture and congestion control mechanism designed for real-time interactive applications
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The increasing use of interactive multimedia applications over the Internet has created a problem of congestion. This is because a majority of these applications do not respond to congestion indicators. This leads to resource starvation for responsive flows, and ultimately excessive delay and losses for all flows therefore loss of quality. This results in unfair sharing of network resources and increasing the risk of network ‘congestion collapse’. Current Congestion Control Mechanisms such as ‘TCP-Friendly Rate Control’ (TFRC) have been able to achieve ‘fair-share’ of network resource when competing with responsive flows such as TCP, but TFRC’s method of congestion response (i.e. to reduce Packet Rate) is not ideally matched for interactive multimedia applications which maintain a fixed Frame Rate. This mismatch of the two rates (Packet Rate and Frame Rate) leads to buffering of frames at the Sender Buffer resulting in delay and loss, and an unacceptable reduction of quality or complete loss of service for the end-user. To address this issue, this thesis proposes a novel Congestion Control Mechanism which is referred to as ‘TCP-friendly rate control – Fine Grain Scalable’ (TFGS) for interactive multimedia applications. This new approach allows multimedia frames (data) to be sent as soon as they are generated, so that the multimedia frames can reach the destination as quickly as possible, in order to provide an isochronous interactive service. This is done by maintaining the Packet Rate of the Congestion Control Mechanism (CCM) at a level equivalent to the Frame Rate of the Multimedia Encoder.The response to congestion is to truncate the Packet Size, hence reducing the overall bitrate of the multimedia stream. This functionality of the Congestion Control Mechanism is referred to as Packet Size Truncation (PST), and takes advantage of adaptive multimedia encoding, such as Fine Grain Scalable (FGS), where the multimedia frame is encoded in order of significance, Most to Least Significant Bits. The Multimedia Adaptation Manager (MAM) truncates the multimedia frame to the size indicated by the Packet Size Truncation function of the CCM, accurately mapping user demand to available network resource. Additionally Fine Grain Scalable encoding can offer scalability at byte level granularity, providing a true match to available network resources. This approach has the benefits of achieving a ‘fair-share’ of network resource when competing with responsive flows (as similar to TFRC CCM), but it also provides an isochronous service which is of crucial benefit to real-time interactive services. Furthermore, results illustrate that an increased number of interactive multimedia flows (such as voice) can be carried over congested networks whilst maintaining a quality level equivalent to that of a standard landline telephone. This is because the loss and delay arising from the buffering of frames at the Sender Buffer is completely removed. Packets sent maintain a fixed inter-packet-gap-spacing (IPGS). This results in a majority of packets arriving at the receiving end at tight time intervals. Hence, this avoids the need of using large Playout (de-jitter) Buffer sizes and adaptive Playout Buffer configurations. As a result this reduces delay, improves interactivity and Quality of Experience (QoE) of the multimedia application.
AuthorsChaudhery, Touseef Javed
- Theses