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We consider the problem of simultaneous bitrate allocation for multiple video streams. Current methods for multiplexing video streams often rely on identifying the relative complexity of the video streams to improve the combined overall quality. In such methods, not all the videos benefit from the multiplexing process. Typically, the quality of high motion videos is improved at the expense of a reduction in the quality of low motion videos. In our approach, we use a competitive equilibrium allocation of bitrate to improve the quality of all the video streams by finding trades between videos across time. A central controller collects rate-distortion information from each video user and makes a joint bitrate allocation decision. Each user encodes and transmits his video at the allocated bitrate through a shared channel. The proposed method uses information about not only the differing complexity of the video streams at every moment but also the differing complexity of each stream over time. Using the competitive equilibrium bitrate allocation approach for multiple video streams, simulation results show that all the video streams perform better or at least as well as with individual encoding. The results of this research will be useful both for ad hoc networks that employ a cluster head model and for cellular architectures.
Date of Publication: April 2010