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Dynamic media streaming over wireless and mobile IP networks

Publication by Manuel Gorius, Yongtao Shuai, Thorsten Herfet
Related to the Predictably Reliable Real-time Transport (PRRT) project
Published in 2012 IEEE Second International Conference on Consumer Electronics-Berlin (ICCE-Berlin), 2012


Due to the increasing number of portable and mobile consumer electronic devices, today's Internet paths include generally at least one wireless segment. Predominant architectures are IEEE 802.11 wireless as well as 3G/4G mobile networks. While the actual bandwidth provisioning on those networks is no longer the limiting factor for high definition media streaming, the quality of such services is severely affected by TCP's shortcomings on wireless paths. The transport protocol suffers from significant underutilization of the available bandwidth in presence of physical packet loss and large propagation delay. For dynamic HTTP streaming this underutilization translates directly into unnecessary quality reduction. In order to improve the quality of dynamic streaming on wireless networks, we implement a novel transport protocol - Predictably Reliable Real-time Transport (PRRT), a protocol layer that efficiently supports the reliability required by multimedia services under their specific time constraint. PRRT is based on hybrid error coding that allows for both proactive and reactive reliability mechanisms. Specifically, it is designed to achieve the optimal trade-off between those mechanisms under strict delay constraints in order to minimize coding overhead. Based on this transport protocol we present a dynamic media streaming architecture with near-optimal bandwidth utilization under equation-based congestion control. We evaluate PRRT's bandwidth allocation and compare our dynamic streaming approach to HTTP-DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) on a mobile broadband network as well as a wireless home network.