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The best-effort internet has inherent limitations on the end-to-end performance for interactive multimedia communications. This paper presents a multiple description coding (MDC) and forward error correction (FEC) based multiple path transmission schemes for interactive multimedia (M3FEC), which improves the end users' experience by maximizing a rate-distortion (R-D) based optimization problem. The proposed model considers both the network diversity and the application's stringent requirements, and combines the individual merits of the three promising technologies of multiple path overlay routing, MDC and FEC. Extensive numerical analysis and PlanetLab experiments demonstrate that M3FEC successfully combats packet losses, error propagation, and unpredictable network dynamics. This method also significantly increases distortion for interactive multimedia by over 10 dB than traditional IP-Iayer single path transmission in poor network environments, and outperforms the performance achieved by using MDC or FEC alone.
Date of Publication: June 2011