Optimal streaming of layered video

Despina Saparilla, Keith W. Ross

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


    This paper presents a model and theory for streaming layered video. We model the bandwidth available to the streaming application as a stochastic process whose statistical characteristics are unknown a priori. The random bandwidth models short term variations due to congestion control (such as TCP-friendly conformance). We suppose that the video has been encoded into a base and an enhancement layer, and that to decode the enhancement layer the base layer has to be available to the client. We make the natural assumption that the client has abundant local storage and attempts to prefetch as much of the video as possible during playback. At any instant of time, starvation or partial starvation can occur at the client in either of the two layers. During periods of starvation, the client applies video error concealment to hide the loss. We study the dynamic allocation of the available bandwidth to the two layers in order to minimize the impact of client starvation. For the case of an infinitely-long video, we find that the optimal policy takes on a surprisingly simple and static form. For finite-length videos, the optimal policy is a simple static policy when the enhancement layer is deemed at least as important as the base layer. When the base layer is more important, we design a threshold policy heuristic which switches between two static policies. We provide numerical results that compare the performance of no-prefetching, static and threshold policies.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)737-746
    Number of pages10
    JournalProceedings - IEEE INFOCOM
    StatePublished - 2000
    Event19th Annual Joint Conference of the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies - IEEE INFOCOM2000: 'Reaching the Promised Land of Communications' - Tel Aviv, Isr
    Duration: Mar 26 2000Mar 30 2000

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Computer Science
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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