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Paper accepted at ACM TOMM: COBIRAS: Offering a Continuous Bit Rate Slide to Maximize DASH Streaming Bandwidth Utilization

Authors: Michael Seufert (University of Augsburg, Germany), Marius Spangenberger (University of Würzburg, Germany), Fabian Poignée (University of Würzburg, Germany), Florian Wamser (Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Switzerland), Werner Robitza (AVEQ GmbH, Austria), Christian Timmerer (Christian Doppler-Labor ATHENA, Alpen-Adria-Universität, Austria), Tobias Hoßfeld (University of Würzburg, Germany)

Journal: ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing Communications and Applications (ACM TOMM)

Abstract: Reaching close-to-optimal bandwidth utilization in Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) systems can, in theory, be achieved with a small discrete set of bit rate representations. This includes typical bit rate ladders used in state-of-the-art DASH systems. In practice, however, we demonstrate that bandwidth utilization, and consequently the Quality of Experience (QoE), can be improved by offering a continuous set of bit rate representations, i.e., a continuous bit rate slide (COBIRAS). Moreover, we find that the buffer fill behavior of different standard adaptive bit rate (ABR) algorithms is sub-optimal in terms of bandwidth utilization. To overcome this issue, we leverage COBIRAS’ flexibility to request segments with any arbitrary bit rate and propose a novel ABR algorithm MinOff, which helps maximizing bandwidth utilization by minimizing download off-phases during streaming. To avoid extensive storage requirements with COBIRAS and to demonstrate the feasibility of our approach, we design and implement a proof-of-concept DASH system for video streaming that relies on just-in-time encoding (JITE), which reduces storage consumption on the DASH server. Finally, we conduct a performance evaluation on our testbed and compare a state-of-the-art DASH system with few bit rate representations and our JITE DASH system, which can offer a continuous bit rate slide, in terms of bandwidth utilization and video QoE for different ABR algorithms.