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Paper accepted in 17th IEEE eScience conference

Conference: https://escience2021.org/

Title: Where to Encode: A Performance Analysis of x86 and Arm-based Amazon EC2 Instances

Authors: Roland Mathá, Dragi Kimovski, Anatoliy Zabrovskiy, Christian Timmerer and Radu Prodan

Abstract: Video streaming became an undivided part of the Internet. To efficiently utilise the limited network bandwidth it is essential to encode the video content. However, encoding is a computationally intensive task, involving high-performance resources provided by private infrastructures or public clouds. Public clouds, such as Amazon EC2, provide a large portfolio of services and instances optimized for specific purposes and budgets. The majority of Amazon’s instances use x86 processors, such as Intel Xeon or AMD EPYC. However, following the recent trends in computer architecture, Amazon introduced Arm based instances that promise up to 40% better cost performance ratio than comparable x86 instances for specific workloads. We evaluate in this paper the video encoding performance of x86 and Arm instances of four instance families using the latest FFmpeg version and two video codecs. We examine the impact of the encoding parameters, such as different presets and bitrates, on the time and cost for encoding. Our experiments reveal that Arm instances show high time and cost saving potential of up to 33.63% for specific bitrates and presets, especially for the x264 codec. However, the x86 instances are more general and achieve low encoding times, regardless of the codec.

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Paper accepted in Springer’s Journal of Computing

Title: Handover Authentication Latency Reduction using Mobile Edge Computing and Mobility Patterns

Authors: Fatima Abdullah, Dragi Kimovski, Radu Prodan, and Kashif Munir

Abstract: With the advancement in technology and the exponential growth of mobile devices, network traffic has increased manifold in cellular networks. Due to this reason, latency reduction has become a challenging issue for mobile devices. In order to achieve seamless connectivity and minimal disruption during movement, latency reduction is crucial in the handover authentication process. Handover authentication is a process in which the legitimacy of a mobile node is checked when it crosses the boundary of an access network. This paper proposes an efficient technique that utilizes mobility patterns of the mobile node and mobile Edge computing framework to reduce handover authentication latency. The key idea of the proposed technique is to categorize mobile nodes on the basis of their mobility patterns. We perform simulations to measure the networking latency. Besides, we use queuing model to measure the processing time of an authentication query at an Edge servers. The results show that the proposed approach reduces the handover authentication latency up to 54% in comparison with the existing approach.

Link: https://c3.itec.aau.at/index.php/paper-accepted-elsevier-computing/

Prof. Radu Prodan

FusionCL: a machine-learning based approach for OpenCL kernel fusion to increase system performance

Authors:Yasir Noman Khalid, Muhammad Aleem, Usman Ahmed, Radu Prodan, Muhammad Arshad Islam & Muhammad Azhar Iqbal

Abstract: Employing general-purpose graphics processing units (GPGPU) with the help of OpenCL has resulted in greatly reducing the execution time of data-parallel applications by taking advantage of the massive available parallelism. However, when a small data size application is executed on GPU there is a wastage of GPU resources as the application cannot fully utilize GPU compute-cores. There is no mechanism to share a GPU between two kernels due to the lack of operating system support on GPU. In this paper, we propose the provision of a GPU sharing mechanism between two kernels that will lead to increasing GPU occupancy, and as a result, reduce execution time of a job pool. However, if a pair of the kernel is competing for the same set of resources (i.e., both applications are compute-intensive or memory-intensive), kernel fusion may also result in a significant increase in execution time of fused kernels. Therefore, it is pertinent to select an optimal pair of kernels for fusion that will result in significant speedup over their serial execution. This research presents FusionCL, a machine learning-based GPU sharing mechanism between a pair of OpenCL kernels. FusionCL identifies each pair of kernels (from the job pool), which are suitable candidates for fusion using a machine learning-based fusion suitability classifier. Thereafter, from all the candidates, it selects a pair of candidate kernels that will produce maximum speedup after fusion over their serial execution using a fusion speedup predictor. The experimental evaluation shows that the proposed kernel fusion mechanism reduces execution time by 2.83× when compared to a baseline scheduling scheme. When compared to state-of-the-art, the reduction in execution time is up to 8%.

Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00607-021-00958-2

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Radu Prodan @ ad astra – ADAPT – make transportation more efficient

Our project „ADAPT“ started in March 2021, during the most critical phase of the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe. The demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from each country’s health care system has surpassed national stock amounts by far.

Learn more about it in an interview with Univ.-Prof. DI Dr. Radu Aurel Prodan in University Klagenfurt´s journal „ad astra“ (pdf).

Vignesh V Menon
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Paper accepted: Efficient Content-Adaptive Feature-based Shot Detection for HTTP Adaptive Streaming

At IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP) on September 19-22, 2021, Alaska, USA.

Authors: Vignesh V Menon (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt),  Hadi Amirpour (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Mohammad Ghanbari (School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex, Colchester, UK), and Christian Timmerer (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt).

Abstract: Video delivery over the Internet has been becoming a commodity in recent years, owing to the widespread use of DASH. The DASH specification defines a hierarchical data model for Media Presentation Descriptions (MPDs) in terms of segments. This paper focuses on segmenting video into multiple shots for encoding in  VoD HAS applications.
This paper proposes a novel DCT feature-based shot detection and successive elimination algorithm for shot detection algorithm and benchmark the algorithm against the default shot detection algorithm of the x265 implementation of the HEVC standard. Our experimental results demonstrate that the proposed feature-based pre-processor has a recall rate of 25% and an F-measure of 20% greater than the benchmark algorithm for shot detection.

Keywords: HTTP Adaptive Streaming, Video-on-Demand, Shot detection, multi-shot encoding.

Link: https://2021.ieeeicip.org


This paper won the second best paper award at the CCGrid 2021 conference.

Title: “A Two-Sided Matching Model for Data Stream Processing in the Cloud-Fog Continuum” by: Narges Mehran, Dragi Kimovski and Radu Prodan, was virtually presented in the CCgrid2021 conference.

We at @alpenadriauni are proud of Narges and her work in the @EU_H2020 @DataCloud2020 project awarded at cloudbus.org/ccgrid2021/.

Watch award presentation at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSnzDpd5Kqc


Paper accepted: Fast Multi-Resolution and Multi-Rate Encoding for HTTP Adaptive Streaming Using Machine Learning

IEEE Open Journal of Signal Processing

Authors: Ekrem Çetinkaya (Christian Doppler Laboratory ATHENA, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Hadi Amirpour, (Christian Doppler Laboratory ATHENA, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Christian Timmerer (Christian Doppler Laboratory ATHENA, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Bitmovin), and Mohammad Ghanbari (Christian Doppler Laboratory ATHENA, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, University of Essex)

Abstract: Video streaming applications keep getting more attention over the years, and HTTP Adaptive Streaming (HAS) became the de-facto solution for video delivery over the Internet. In HAS, each video is encoded at multiple quality levels and resolutions (i.e., representations) to enable adaptation of the streaming session to viewing and network conditions of the client. This requirement brings encoding challenges along with it, e.g., a video source should be encoded efficiently at multiple bitrates and resolutions. Fast multi-rate encoding approaches aim to address this challenge of encoding multiple representations from a single video by re-using information from already encoded representations. In this paper, a convolutional neural network is used to speed up both multi-rate and multi-resolution encoding for HAS. For multi-rate encoding, the lowest bitrate representation is chosen as the reference. For multi-resolution encoding, the highest bitrate from the lowest resolution representation is chosen as the reference. Pixel values from the target resolution and encoding information from the reference representation are used to predict Coding Tree Unit (CTU) split decisions in High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) for dependent representations. Experimental results show that the proposed method for multi-rate encoding can reduce the overall encoding time by 15.08% and parallel encoding time by 41.26%, with a 0.89% bitrate increase compared to the HEVC reference software. Simultaneously, the proposed method for multi-resolution encoding can reduce the encoding time by 46.27% for the overall encoding and 27.71% for the parallel encoding on average with a 2.05% bitrate

Keywords: HTTP Adaptive Streaming, HEVC, Multirate Encoding, Machine Learning

Excellent Reviews at the Second EC Review for the ARTICONF Project

ARTICONF impressed the reviewers with their advancements in the second year and passed the second EC review with flying colors.  The project officer and reviewers echoed the effort put together by the consortium in achieving an integrated ARTICONF product while maintaining a pile of scientific output at the highest level. The EC reviewers iterated that they look forward to the current ARTICONF technology with personal and professional interests apart from the bindings of their current EC responsibilities. 

Nishant Saurabh

Paper accepted in Elsevier’s Journal of Blockchain: Research and Applications

Title: The ARTICONF Approach to Decentralised  Car-sharing 

Authors: Nishant Saurabh (UNI-KLU), Carlos Rubia (Agilia), Anandakumar Palanisamy (BY), Spiros Koulouzis (UvA), Mirsat Sefidanoski (UIST), Antorweep Chakravorty (UiS), Zhiming Zhao (UvA), Aleksandar Karadimce (UIST), Radu Prodan (UNI-KLU)

Abstract: Social media applications are essential for next generation connectivity. Today, social media are centralized platforms with a single proprietary organization controlling the network and posing critical trust and governance issues over the created and propagated content.
The ARTICONF project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program researches a decentralized social media platform based on a novel set of trustworthy, resilient and globally sustainable tools that address privacy, robustness and autonomy-related promises that proprietary social media platforms have failed to deliver so far. This paper presents the ARTICONF approach to a car-sharing decentralized application (DApp) use case, as a new collaborative peer-to-peer model providing an alternative solution to private car ownership. We describe a prototype implementation of the car-sharing social media DApp and illustrate through real snapshots how the different ARTICONF tools support it in a simulated scenario.

Vignesh V Menon

Paper accepted: Efficient Multi-Encoding Algorithms for HTTP Adaptive Bitrate Streaming

Conference info: Picture Coding Symposium (PCS), 29 June-2 July 2021, Bristol, UK

Conference Website: https://pcs2021.org

Authors: Vignesh V Menon (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt),  Hadi Amirpour (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Christian Timmerer (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Bitmovin), and Mohammad Ghanbari (School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex, Colchester, UK)

Abstract: Since video accounts for the majority of today’s internet traffic, the popularity of HTTP Adaptive Streaming (HAS) is increasing steadily. In HAS, each video is encoded at multiple bitrates and spatial resolutions (i.e., representations) to adapt to a heterogeneity of network conditions, device characteristics, and end-user preferences. Most of the streaming services utilize cloud-based encoding techniques which enable a fully parallel encoding process to speed up the encoding and consequently to reduce the overall time complexity. State-of-the-art approaches further improve the encoding process by utilizing encoder analysis information from already encoded representation(s) to improve the encoding time complexity of the remaining representations. In this paper, we investigate various multi-encoding algorithms (i.e., multi-rate and multi-resolution) and propose novel multi- encoding algorithms for large-scale HTTP Adaptive Streaming deployments. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed multi-encoding algorithm optimized for the highest compression efficiency reduces the overall encoding time by 39% with a 1.5% bitrate increase compared to stand-alone encodings. Its optimized version for the highest time savings reduces the overall encoding time by 50% with a 2.6% bitrate increase compared to stand-alone encodings.

Keywords: HTTP Adaptive Streaming, HEVC, Multi-rate Encoding, Multi-encoding.