Skip to Main Content
Conventional video consists of a single sequence of video frames. During a client's playback period, frames are viewed sequentially from some specified starting point. The fixed frame ordering of conventional video enables efficient scheduled broadcast delivery, as well as efficient near on-demand delivery to large numbers of concurrent clients through use of periodic broadcast protocols in which the video file is segmented and transmitted on multiple channels. This paper considers the problem of devising scalable protocols for near on-demand delivery of "nonlinear" media files whose content may have a tree or graph, rather than linear, structure. Such media allows personalization of the media playback according to individual client preferences. We formulate a mathematical model for determination of the optimal periodic broadcast protocol for nonlinear media with piecewise-linear structures. Our objective function allows differing weights to be placed on the startup delays required for differing paths through the media. Studying a number of simple nonlinear structures we provide insight into the characteristics of the optimal solution. For cases in which the cost of solving the optimization model is prohibitive, we propose and evaluate an efficient approximation algorithm.