End-to-End Support for Multimedia QoS in the Internet

End-to-End Support for Multimedia QoS in the Internet

Panagiotis Papadimitriou (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece) and Vassilis Tsaoussidis (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-820-8.ch016
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An increasing demand for multimedia data delivery coupled with reliance in best-effort networks, such as the Internet, has spurred interest on effective quality of service (QoS) management for multimedia streams. Since today’s multimedia applications are expected to run in physically heterogeneous environments composed of both wired and wireless components, we assess the efficiency of transport-layer solutions for multimedia traffic in heterogeneous networks. In order to quantify the performance on media delivery, we investigate the multimedia application requirements vs. the QoS provided by the underlying network. The chapter also provides means for the perceptual QoS assessment of voice and video streams. In the sequel, we describe some representative end-to-end congestion control schemes, identifying the mechanisms that are most suitable for multimedia traffic. Our analysis is complemented with conclusive performance studies which quantify video delivery, within the context of transport protocol support and efficiency.
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In recent years, Internet has been experiencing an increasing demand for multimedia services, typically involving audio and video delivery. Media-streaming applications yield satisfactory performance only under certain quality of service (QoS) provisions, which may vary depending on the application task and the type of media involved. Unlike bulk-data transfers, multimedia flows require a minimum and continuous bandwidth guarantee, while they are also affected by reliability factors, such as packet drops due to congestion or link errors.

Today’s multimedia applications are expected to run in physically heterogeneous environments composed of both wired and wireless components. Wireless links exhibit distinct characteristics, such as limited bandwidth, bit errors, and potential handoff operations. Bit errors typically occur when the signal to interference and noise ratio is not high enough to decode information correctly. Furthermore, wireless channels are hard to model and predict, and designing an error-free communication link generally entails sacrificing significant capacity. QoS requirements in wireless networking essentially remain stringent and complicated, taking additionally into account the influencing mobile device characteristics and limitations. For example, a considerable number of mobile devices offer limited buffer capacities, being unable to smooth the fluctuations in the receiving rate. In this case, the task of smooth media delivery is primarily delegated to the transport protocol.

Several independent mechanisms have been proposed, which normally interact with the transport protocol and provide reliable transmission over wireless links (Balakrishnan, 2002; Hu & Sharma, 2002). Most of them operate on the link layer and generally are considered more efficient than physical-layer techniques, such as spread-spectrum and OFDM modulation, or channel coding. However, link-layer approaches may degrade performance, especially in the presence of highly variable error rates. Local error recovery may alter the characteristics of the network affecting the functionality of higher layer protocols. For example, local retransmission, such as automatic repeat request (ARQ) (Hu et al., 2002), could result in packet reordering or in considerable round trip time (RTT) fluctuations. In addition, concurrent responses from both local and end-to-end error control may result in undesirable interactions, causing inefficiencies and potentially instability. Considering real-time traffic where data packets bear information with a limited useful lifetime, retransmissions are often a wasted effort (Papadimitriou & Tsaoussidis, 2006). In such conditions, unfruitful retransmissions deliver delayed packets which are either discarded, or at the worst they obstruct the proper reconstruction of oncoming packets.

Transmission control protocol (TCP) is basically designed to provide a reliable service for wired Internet. The additive increase multiplicative decrease (AIMD) algorithm (Chiu & Jain, 1989), incorporated in standard TCP versions, achieves stability and converges to fairness when the demand of competing flows exceeds the channel bandwidth. TCP is further enhanced with a series of mechanisms for congestion management, including congestion avoidance (Jacobson, 1988), slow start, fast retransmit, and fast recovery (Stevens, 1997). Despite these features, TCP demonstrates inadequate performance in heterogeneous wired/wireless environments. Tsaoussidis and Matta (2002a) outline three major shortfalls of TCP: (i) ineffective bandwidth utilization, (ii) unnecessary congestion-oriented responses to wireless link errors (e.g., fading channels) and operations (e.g., handoffs), and (iii) wasteful window adjustments over asymmetric, low-bandwidth reverse paths. The difficulty of the task that TCP has to perform is further enhanced, when the protocol provides services for delay-sensitive applications. Standard TCP induces oscillations in the achievable transmission rate, with an adverse effect on the playback quality of multimedia applications. Furthermore, the protocol introduces arbitrary delays, since it enforces reliability and in-order delivery.

Complete Chapter List

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Abbas Jamalipour
Nicola Cranley , Liam Murphy
Chapter 1
Ronan Skehill, William Kent, Dorel Picovici, Michael Barry, Sean McGrath
This chapter introduces quality of service in multi-access wireless networks. Specifically it demonstrates how QoS is implemented in IEEE 802.11 and... Sample PDF
Evaluating QoS in a Multi-Access Wireless Network
Chapter 2
Dirk Staehle, Andreas Mäder
This chapter gives an overview of the background and functionality of the high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA), and provides insights into the... Sample PDF
Radio Resource Management Strategies for HSDPA-Enhanced UMTS Networks
Chapter 3
Nidal Nasser, Tarek Bejaoui
Major research challenges in the next generation of wireless networks include the provisioning of worldwide seamless mobility across heterogeneous... Sample PDF
Handoff Management in Next Generation Wireless Networks
Chapter 4
Ming Li, Roberto Riggio, Francesco De Pellegrini, Imrich Chlamtac
This chapter provides a comprehensive review of the architectures, algorithms, and protocols in the topic of resource management in IEEE... Sample PDF
Resource Management in IEEE 802.11 Based Wireless Networks
Chapter 5
Anna Sfairopoulou, Carlos Macián, Boris Bellalta
Network Technologies and Strategies (NeTS) Research Group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, SpainThis chapter introduces the problems caused to voice over... Sample PDF
Adaptive Codec Selection for VoIP in Multi-Rate WLANs
Chapter 6
Michael M. Markou, Christos G. Panayiotou
This chapter introduces the network buffer control techniques as a mean to provide QoS. This problem has been extensively studied in the context of... Sample PDF
Buffer Control Techniques for QoS Provisioning in Wireless Networks
Chapter 7
Gabriel-Miro Muntean, Janet Adams
Wireless networks are becoming a part of everyday life for many people. When a mobile device has wireless LAN capability, multimedia content can be... Sample PDF
Power Saving in Wireless Multimedia Streaming to Mobile Devices
Chapter 8
Jose Luis Jodra, Fidel Liberal, Begoña Blanco Jauregi
This chapter introduces the principal characteristics of MANETs and shows how these particularities may affect both QoS conditions and QoS... Sample PDF
Multimedia Services Provision in MANETs
Chapter 9
Andrej Kos, Mojca Volk, Janez Bester
Commonly understood as the next generation networks (NGN), a composite environment of proven telecommunications and Internet-oriented mechanisms has... Sample PDF
Quality Assurance in the IMS-Based NGN Environment
Chapter 10
Marcio Nieblas Zapater, Graça Bressan
This chapter discusses the quality assurance of multimedia services over IP networks from the end user standpoint and introduces the concept of... Sample PDF
Quality of Experience for Video Services
Chapter 11
Dorel Picovici, John Nelson
Perceptual voice quality measurement can be defined as an objective quantification of an overall impression of the perceived stimulus. An... Sample PDF
Perceptual Voice Quality Measurements for Wireless Networks
Chapter 12
Tacha Serif, Gheorghita Ghinea
This chapter describes an investigation exploring user experiences of accessing streamed multimedia content, when that content is tailored according... Sample PDF
Enhancing the Multimedia Tour Guide Experience: Transmission Tailoring Based on Content, Location, and Device Type
Chapter 13
Harilaos Koumaras, Fidel Liberal, Lingfen Sun
The concept of PQoS, although in general it deals with the user satisfaction with a specific delivered/ requested service, is in practice... Sample PDF
PQoS Assessment Methods for Multimedia Services
Chapter 14
Peifang Zhang, Scott Jordan
Emerging wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA) data services will likely require resource allocation to ensure that throughput targets are... Sample PDF
Scheduling and Access Control for Wireless Connections with Throughput Guarantees
Chapter 15
Paolo Chini, Giovanni Giambene, Snezana Hadzic
Nowadays there is an increasing need of broadband communication anytime, anywhere for users that expect to receive multimedia services with support... Sample PDF
Broadband Satellite Multimedia Networks
Chapter 16
Panagiotis Papadimitriou, Vassilis Tsaoussidis
An increasing demand for multimedia data delivery coupled with reliance in best-effort networks, such as the Internet, has spurred interest on... Sample PDF
End-to-End Support for Multimedia QoS in the Internet
Chapter 17
Tarek Bejaoui, Nidal Nasser
This chapter introduces the cross layer design for resource allocation over multimedia wireless networks. Conventional layered packet scheduling and... Sample PDF
Cross-Layer Radio Resource Management Protocols for QoS Provisioning in Multimedia Wireless Networks
Chapter 18
Gürkan Gür, Suzan Bayhan, Fatih Alagöz
This chapter introduces the QoS issues and support in transport protocols for wireless multimedia transmission. After an overview of the transport... Sample PDF
Transport Protocols and QoS for Wireless Multimedia
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