Considerations on multimedia streaming over TCP

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Considerations on multimedia streaming over TCP


Author: Ho, King-man
Title: Considerations on multimedia streaming over TCP
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2004
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
TCP/IP (Computer network protocol)
Multimedia systems
Streaming technology (Telecommunications)
Department: Dept. of Electronic and Information Engineering
Pages: xix, 141 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Multimedia streaming is becoming a popular service on the Internet. Currently, most of the streaming applications are using UDP as the transport protocol for carrying multimedia data over the Internet. However, UDP does not provide any forms of congestion control in response to the changing of network environments. Implementing some forms of congestion control on the top of UDP to avoid network collapse is thus encouraged but not mandatory. As a result, fairly sharing network resources with the dominated TCP traffic may not be guaranteed. Unlike UDP, TCP is the most well-developed and widely accepted transport protocol in the Internet. According to some statistics, TCP is presently accounting for about 95% of the Internet traffic. It would be desirable for carrying multimedia data over a TCP connection for not only taking the advantage of its reliability, but also its fast, efficient and maturity congestion control mechanisms. However, the current TCP implementations are not suitable for multimedia data because they provide reliability over timeliness and the throughput will vary over the time, which cannot meet the stringent network requirements of the delay-sensitive multimedia data. Therefore, it comes to a question that whether streaming multimedia over TCP is possible or not. Hence, it motivates our work in this thesis to investigate the possibility of using TCP for multimedia streaming. In this thesis, we first propose a Time-Controlled Window (TCW) algorithm to overcome the problem of timeliness in TCP. With TCW, each data can only be buffered and transmitted within a predefined time after which the data will be abandoned to send. Thus, each data has an equal right for transmission such that the real-time capability of TCP can be improved. To address the throughput variation problem on TCP, a Virtual Fast Retransmit (VFRT) algorithm is then developed to minimize the occurrence of retransmit timeout (RTO) in TCP. With this algorithm, the lost packet can be recovered immediately without activating RTO. Thus, the stability of TCP throughput is improved and a smooth multimedia playback can be achieved. It has been examined that either timeline transmission or stable throughput cannot satisfy all the requirements for transmission of multimedia data over TCP. In this regard, a new version of TCP named TCP-Multimedia (denoted as TCP-MM) is developed by combining both the TCW and VFRT algorithms. Simulation results show that the proposed new TCP version can recover up to 90% data losses for the case of 4% network drop during transmission for a wide range of round-trip time experiences. Also, TCP-MM is TCP-friendly with other TCP competing flows.

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