On Optimization of Quality of User Experience and Wireless Network Bandwidth in Video Content Delivery

Date and time: December 04, 2015 13.00 - 15.00
Place: Sal B, Electrum, KTH Kista
Speaker: Alisa Devlic

PhD Defense Seminar:

Mobile video content today generates more than half of the mobile data traffic. The increasing popularity of mobile video on demand services poses great challenges to mobile operators and content providers.

This thesis focuses on: (1) reducing the size of the video that is delivered to the end user in the maximum achievable video quality, thus optimizing the wireless network bandwidth and the user-perceived QoE, and (2) reducing the energy consumption of a mobile device that is associated to data transfer over the radio interface, thus increasing the device’s battery lifetime. The main contributions have been given in providing the Over-the-Top video optimization and delivery schemes and recommendations on tuning their parameters in order to minimize the bandwidth and energy consumption of mobile video delivery, while maximizing the predictable user-perceived QoE.

By preventing the video to be prefetched on low data rates and tuning the data rate threshold according to statistical properties of available data rates, we show that 20-70% of energy cost can be reduced by opportunistic prefetching, depending on the user’s pattern of available data rates. The data rate values ordered in time that has a large amount of serial correlation and low noise variance, or low average value and high peak-to-mean ratio, are likely to yield the highest energy gains from content prefetching. Moreover, we show that energy gains are the largest when the threshold data rate is set close to an average data rate, due to the highest availability of data rates around this value, and for longer sleep time between the prefetching periods, which increases the probability of moving away from the areas with low data rates.

Next, we focus on QoE-aware mobile video delivery solutions that are more bandwidth efficient without compromising the user-perceived video quality. They deliver a video over a varying data rate channel that is optimized for viewing on a mobile device in the highest perceptual video quality that can be achieved in the given video and network conditions. An optimized video consists of short segments in the minimum resolutions that satisfy the target perceptual video quality and have up to 60% reduced size compared to the video in the corresponding fixed video resolution, without perceptible quality difference. The delivery is performed by on demand download, context-aware pref etching, or in real time using the QoE-aware adaptive video streaming that runs over Dynamic Adaptive video Streaming over HTTP (DASH). By limiting the maximum bitrates of the requested video segments and using the remaining throughput to prefetch optimized video segments in advance of playout, we show that QoE-aware adaptive video streaming maintains a more stable perceptual video quality than DASH despite the fluctuations of the channel bandwidth, while using fewer number of bits, which improves a user-perceived QoE.

The results of this thesis can help operators and content providers to reduce their costs and provide more content to their users at the same (or cheaper) price.

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