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Improving the Quality of Real Time Media Applications through Sending the Best Packet Next

Real time media applications such as video conferencing are increasing in usage. These bandwidth intensive applications put high demands on a network and often the quality experienced by the user is sub-optimal. In a traditional network stack, data from an application is transmitted in the order that it is received. This thesis proposes a scheme called "Send the Best Packet Next (SBPN)" where the most important data is transmitted first and data that will not reach the receiver before an expiry time is not transmitted. In SBPN the packet priority and expiry time are added to a packet and used in conjunction with the Round Trip Time (RTT) to determine whether packets are sent, and in which order that they are sent. For example, it has been shown that audio is more important to users than video in video conferencing. SBPN could be considered to be Quality of Service (QoS) that is within an application data stream. This is in comparison to network routers that provide QoS to whole streams such as Voice over IP (VoIP), but do not differentiate between data items within the stream or which data gets transmitted by the end nodes. Implementation of SBPN can be done on the server only, so that much of the benefit for one way transmission (e.g. live television) can be gained without requiring existing clients to be changed. SBPN was implemented in a Linux kernel on top of Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP) and compared to existing solutions. This showed real improvement in the measured quality of audio with a maximum improvement of 15% in selected test scenarios.
Type of thesis
McDonald, I. (2013). Improving the Quality of Real Time Media Applications through Sending the Best Packet Next (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8320
University of Waikato
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