A credit-based approach to scalable video transmission over a peer-to-peer social network
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The objective of the research work presented in this thesis is to study scalable video transmission over peer-to-peer networks. In particular, we analyse how a credit-based approach and exploitation of social networking features can play a significant role in the design of such systems. Peer-to-peer systems are nowadays a valid alternative to the traditional client-server architecture for the distribution of multimedia content, as they transfer the workload from the service provider to the final user, with a subsequent reduction of management costs for the former. On the other hand, scalable video coding helps in dealing with network heterogeneity, since the content can be tailored to the characteristics or resources of the peers. First of all, we present a study that evaluates subjective video quality perceived by the final user under different transmission scenarios. We also propose a video chunk selection algorithm that maximises received video quality under different network conditions. Furthermore, challenges in building reliable peer-to-peer systems for multimedia streaming include optimisation of resource allocation and design mechanisms based on rewards and punishments that provide incentives for users to share their own resources. Our solution relies on a credit-based architecture, where peers do not interact with users that have proven to be malicious in the past. Finally, if peers are allowed to build a social network of trusted users, they can share the local information they have about the network and have a more complete understanding of the type of users they are interacting with. Therefore, in addition to a local credit, a social credit or social reputation is introduced. This thesis concludes with an overview of future developments of this research work.
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