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Harmonic proportional bandwidth allocation and scheduling for service differentiation on streaming servers

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2 Author(s)
Xiaobo Zhou ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Colorado Univ., Colorado Springs, CO, USA ; Cheng-Zhong Xu

To provide ubiquitous access to the proliferating rich media on the Internet, scalable streaming servers must be able to provide differentiated services to various client requests. Recent advances of transcoding technology make network-I/O bandwidth usages at the server communication ports controllable by request schedulers on the fly. In this article, we propose a transcoding-enabled bandwidth allocation scheme for service differentiation on streaming servers. It aims to deliver high bit rate streams to high priority request classes without overcompromising low priority request classes. We investigate the problem of providing differentiated streaming services at application level in two aspects: stream bandwidth allocation and request scheduling. We formulate the bandwidth allocation problem as an optimization of a harmonic utility function of the stream quality factors and derive the optimal streaming bit rates for requests of different classes under various server load conditions. We prove that the optimal allocation, referred to as harmonic proportional allocation, not only maximizes the system utility function, but also guarantees proportional fair sharing between classes with different prespecified differentiation weights. We evaluate the allocation scheme, in combination with two popular request scheduling approaches, via extensive simulations and compare it with an absolute differentiation strategy and a proportional-share strategy tailored from relative differentiation in networking. Simulation results show that the harmonic proportional allocation scheme can meet the objective of relative differentiation in both short and long timescales and greatly enhance the service availability and maintain low queueing delay when the streaming system is highly loaded.

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Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 9 )