Adaptive control of real-time media applications in best-effort networks



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Texas A&M University


Quality of Service (QoS) in real-time media applications can be defined as the ability to guarantee the delivery of packets from source to destination over best-effort networks within some constraints. These constraints defined as the QoS metrics are end-to-end packet delay, delay jitter, throughtput, and packet losses. Transporting real-time media applications over best-effort networks, e.g. the Internet, is an area of current research. Both the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) have failed to provide the desired QoS. This research aims at developing application-level end-to-end QoS controls to improve the user-perceived quality of real-time media applications over best-effort networks, such as, the public Internet. In this research an end-to-end packet based approach is developed. The end-to- end packet based approach consists of source buffer, network simulator ns-2, destina- tion buffer, and controller. Unconstrained model predictive control (MPC) methods are implemented by the controller at the application layer. The end-to-end packet based approach uses end-to-end network measurements and predictions as feedback signals. Effectiveness of the developed control methods are examined using Matlab and ns-2. The results demonstrate that sender-based control schemes utilizing UDP at transport layer are effective in providing QoS for real-time media applications transported over best-effort networks. Significant improvements in providing QoS are visible by the reduction of packet losses and the elimination of disruptions during the playback of real-time media. This is accompanied by either a decrease or increase in the playback start-time.