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We develop an analytical framework to investigate the impacts of network dynamics on the user perceived video quality. Our investigation stands from the end user's perspective by analyzing the receiver playout buffer. In specific, we model the playback buffer at the receiver by a G/G/1/?? and G/G/1/N queue, respectively, with arbitrary patterns of packet arrival and playback. We then examine the transient queue length of the buffer using the diffusion approximation. We obtain the closed-form expressions of the video quality in terms of the start-up delay, fluency of video playback and packet loss, and represent them by the network statistics, i.e., the average network throughput and delay jitter. Based on the analytical framework, we propose adaptive playout buffer management schemes to optimally manage the threshold of video playback towards the maximal user utility, according to different quality-of-service requirements of end users. The proposed framework is validated by extensive simulations.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2010