Look-ahead rate adaptation algorithm for DASH under varying network environments

Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) is slowly becoming the most popular online video streaming technology. DASH enables the video player to adapt the quality of the multimedia content being downloaded in order to match the varying network conditions. The key challenge with DASH is to decide the optimal video quality for the next video segment under the current network conditions. The aim is to download the next segment before the player experiences buffer-starvation. Several rate adaptation methodologies proposed so far rely on the TCP throughput measurements and the current buffer occupancy. However, these techniques, do not consider any information regarding the next segment that is to be downloaded.

They assume that the segment sizes are uniform and assign equal weights to all the segments. However, due to the video encoding techniques employed, different segments of the video with equal playback duration are found to be of different sizes. In the current paper, we propose to list the individual segment characteristics in the Media Presentation Description (MPD) file during the preprocessing stage; this is later used in the segment download time estimations. We also propose a novel rate adaptation methodology that uses the individual segment sizes in addition to the measured TCP throughput and the buffer occupancy estimate for the best video rate to be used for the next segments.