Skip to Main Content
Nowadays, there has been significant deployment of peer-assisted on-demand streaming services over the Internet. Two of the most unique and salient features in a peer-assisted on-demand streaming system are the differentiation in the demand (or request) and the prefetching capability with caching. In this paper, we develop a theoretical framework based on queuing models, in order to 1) justify the superiority of service prioritization based on a taxonomy of requests, and 2) understand the fundamental principles behind optimal prefetching and caching designs in peer-assisted on-demand streaming systems. The focus is to instruct how limited uploading bandwidth resources and peer caching capacities can be utilized most efficiently to achieve better system performance. To achieve these objectives, we first use priority queuing analysis to prove how service quality and user experience can be statistically guaranteed, by prioritizing requests in the order of significance, including urgent playback (e.g., random seeks or initial startup), normal playback, and prefetching. We then proceed to construct a fine-grained stochastic supply-demand model to investigate peer caching and prefetching as a global optimization problem. This not only provides insights in understanding the fundamental characterization of demand, but also offers guidelines toward optimal prefetching and caching strategies in peer-assisted on-demand streaming systems.