September 15, 2017

A machine learning-based framework for preventing video freezes in HTTP adaptive streaming

  • Bostoen T.
  • De Turck F.
  • Huysegems R.
  • Petrangeli S.
  • Wauters T.
  • Wu T.

HTTP Adaptive Streaming (HAS) represents the dominant technology to deliver videos over the Internet, due to its ability to adapt the video quality to the available bandwidth. Despite that, HAS clients can still suffer from freezes in the video playout, the main factor influencing users' Quality of Experience (QoE). To reduce video freezes, we propose a network-based framework, where a network controller prioritizes the delivery of particular video segments to prevent freezes at the clients. This framework is based on OpenFlow, a widely adopted protocol to implement the software-defined networking principle. The main element of the controller is a Machine Learning (ML) engine based on the random undersampling boosting algorithm and fuzzy logic, which can detect when a client is close to a freeze and drive the network prioritization to avoid it. This decision is based on measurements collected from the network nodes only, without any knowledge on the streamed videos or on the clients' characteristics. In this paper, we detail the design of the proposed ML-based framework and compare its performance with other benchmarking HAS solutions, under various video streaming scenarios. Particularly, we show through extensive experimentation that the proposed approach can reduce video freezes and freeze time with about 65% and 45% respectively, when compared to benchmarking algorithms. These results represent a major improvement for the QoE of the users watching multimedia content online.

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