January 19, 2017

Deadline-aware TCP congestion control for video streaming services

  • Bouten N.
  • Claeys M.
  • De Schepper K.
  • De Turck F.
  • De Vleeschauwer D.
  • Latre S.
  • Van Leekwijck W.

Video streaming services have continuously gained popularity over the last decades, accounting for about 70% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2016. All of these video streaming sessions have strict delivery deadlines in order to avoid playout interruptions, detrimentally impacting the Quality of Experience (QoE). However, the vast majority of this traffic uses TCP at the transport layer, which is known to be far from minimizing the number of deadline-missing streams. By introducing deadline-awareness at the transport layer, video delivery can be optimized by prioritizing specific flows. This paper proposes a deadline-aware congestion control mechanism, based on a parametrization of the traditional TCP New Reno congestion control strategy. By taking into account the available deadline information, the modulation of the congestion window is dynamically adapted to steer the aggressiveness of a considered stream. The proposed approach has been thoroughly evaluated in both a video-on-demand (VoD)-only scenario and a scenario where VoD streams co-exist with live streaming sessions and non-deadline-aware traffic. It was shown that in a video streaming scenario the minimal bottleneck bandwidth can be reduced by 16% on average when using deadline-aware congestion control. In coexistence with other TCP traffic, a bottleneck reduction of 11% could be achieved.

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