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

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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

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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
increase.

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

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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.

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

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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.

Paper accepted: ES-HAS: An Edge- and SDN-Assisted Framework for HTTP Adaptive Video Streaming

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Conference info: NOSSDAV’21: The 31st edition of the Workshop on Network and Operating System Support for Digital Audio and Video Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2021, Istanbul, Turkey

Conference Website: https://nossdav.org/2021/

Authors: Reza Farahani (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Farzad Tashtarian (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Alireza Erfanian (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Christian Timmerer (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Bitmovin), Mohammad Ghanbari (School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex, Colchester, UK) and Hermann Hellwagner (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt)

Abstract: Recently, HTTP Adaptive Streaming (HAS) has become the dominant video delivery technology over the Internet. In HAS, clients have full control over the media streaming and adaptation processes. Lack of coordination among the clients and lack of awareness of the network conditions may lead to sub-optimal user experience, and resource utilization in a pure client-based HAS adaptation scheme. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) has recently been considered to enhance the video streaming process. In this paper, we leverage the capability of SDN and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) to introduce an edge- and SDN-assisted video streaming framework called ES-HAS. We employ virtualized edge components to collect HAS clients’ requests and retrieve networking information in a time-slotted manner. These components then perform an optimization model in a time-slotted manner to efficiently serve clients’ requests by selecting an optimal cache server (with the shortest fetch time). In case of a cache miss, a client’s request is served (i) by an optimal replacement quality (only better quality levels with minimum deviation) from a cache server, or (ii) by the original requested quality level from the origin server. This approach is validated through experiments on a large-scale testbed, and the performance of our framework is compared to pure client-based strategies and the SABR system [11]. Although SABR and ES-HAS show (almost) identical performance in the number of quality switches, ES-HAS outperforms SABR in terms of playback bitrate and the number of stalls by at least 70% and 40%, respectively.

Keywords: Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH), Edge Computing, Network-Assisted Video Streaming, Quality of Experience (QoE), Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Presentation accepted for ASHPC’21

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The presentation has been accepted to the main-track of the Austrian-Slovenian HPC Meeting (ASHPC’21). Meeting will be organized in a hybrid format on 31 May – 2 June, 2021 at the Institute of Information Science in Maribor, Slovenia.

Title: Automated Workflows Scheduling via Two-Phase Event-based MILP Heuristic for MRCPSP Problem

Authors: Vladislav Kashansky, Gleb Radchenko, Radu Prodan, Anatoliy Zabrovskiy and Prateek Agrawal

Abstract: In today’s reality massive amounts of data-intensive tasks are managed by utilizing a large number of heterogeneous computing and storage elements interconnected through high-speed communication networks. However, one issue that still requires research effort is to enable effcient workflows scheduling in such complex environments.
As the scale of the system grows and the workloads become more heterogeneous in the inner structure and the arrival patterns, scheduling problem becomes exponentially harder, requiring problem-specifc heuristics. Many techniques evolved to tackle this problem, including, but not limited to Heterogeneous Earliest Finish Time (HEFT), The Dynamic Scaling Consolidation Scheduling (DSCS), Partitioned Balanced Time Scheduling (PBTS), Deadline Constrained Critical Path (DCCP) and Partition Problem-based Dynamic Provisioning Scheduling (PPDPS). In this talk, we will discuss the two-phase heuristic for makespan-optimized assignment of tasks and computing machines on large-scale computing systems, consisting of matching phase with subsequent event-based MILP method for schedule generation. We evaluated the scalability of the heuristic using the Constraint Integer Programing (SCIP) solver with various configurations based on data sets, provided by the MACS framework. Preliminary results show that the model provides near-optimal assignments and schedules for workflows composed of up to 100 tasks with complex task I/O interactions and demonstrates variable sensitivity with respect to the scale of workflows and resource limitation policies imposed.

Keywords: HPC Schedule Generation, MRCPSP Problem, Workflows Scheduling, Two-Phase Heuristic

Acknowledgement: This work has received funding from the EC-funded project H2020 FETHPC ASPIDE (Agreement #801091)

ADAPT: online kickoff meeting

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ADAPT started with the online Kickoff meeting, coordinated by Prof. Radu Prodan.

Prof. Radu Prodan

Nomitation as MC Member at COST

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Prof. Radu Prodan has been nominated as Management Committee (MC) Member CA19135 at COST (European Cooperation in Science & Technologie).

Prof. Radu Prodan

Paper accepted in RCIS 2021

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Conference: 15th International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science

Title : DataCloud: Enabling the Big Data Pipelines on the Computing Continuum

Authors: Dumitru Roman, Nikolay Nikolov, Brian Elvesæter, Ahmet Soylu, Radu Prodan, Dragi Kimovski, Andrea Marrella, Francesco Leotta, Dario Benvenuti, Mihhail Matskin, Giannis Ledakis, Anthony Simonet-Boulogne, Fernando Perales, Evgeny Kharlamov, Alexandre Ulisses, Arnor Solberg and Raffaele Ceccarelli