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Rate control is an important issue in video streaming applications for both wired and wireless networks. A widely accepted rate control method in wired networks is TCP-friendly rate control (TFRC) (Floyd, 2000). It is equation-based rate control in which the TCP-friendly rate is determined as a function of packet loss rate, round-trip time, and packet size. TFRC assumes that packet loss in wired networks is primarily due to congestion, and as such is not applicable to wireless networks in which the main cause of packet loss is at the physical layer. In this article we review existing approaches to solve this problem. Then we propose multiple TFRC connections as an end-to-end rate control solution for wireless video streaming. We show that this approach not only avoids modifications to the network infrastructure or network protocol, but also results in full utilization of the wireless channel. NS-2 simulations, actual experiments over a 1×RTT CDMA wireless data network, and video streaming simulations using traces from the actual experiments are carried out to characterize the performance and show the efficiency of our proposed approach.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2005