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The current best-effort Internet does not guarantee the bandwidth availability between a receiver and a sender, and so renders any quality-of-service control difficult, if not impossible. This paper proposes a novel predictive buffering algorithm for streaming video not from one, but from multiple senders to a receiver over the best-effort Internet. In particular, the predictive buffering algorithm estimates the mean and variance of the aggregate throughput of multiple senders, and then use these estimated parameters to predict the future bandwidth availability. By appealing to the central limit theorem, the future bandwidth availability will tend to be normally distributed, irrespective of the distribution of the measurement bandwidth availability. This insight enables the buffering algorithm to predict, at runtime, the buffering time required to ensure playback continuity. Extensive trace-driven simulations show that this predictive buffering algorithm can achieve buffer delays that are remarkably close to the optimal buffer time.
Date of Conference: Nov. 27 2006-Dec. 1 2006