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Proceedings Paper

Rate-distortion optimized multimedia communication in networks
Author(s): Nima Sarshar; Xiaolin Wu
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Paper Abstract

Large-scale, widespread distribution of high definition multimedia contents using IP networks is extremely resource intensive. Service providers have to employ an expensive network of servers, routers, link infrastructures and set-top boxes to accommodate the generated traffic. The goal in this paper is to develop network-aware media communication solutions that help service providers to efficiently utilize their deployed network infrastructures for media delivery. In particular, we investigate the following fundamental problem: given a fixed network infrastructure, what is the best strategy to multicast multiple multimedia contents from a set of server nodes to a set of clients, to realize the best reconstruction quality at the client nodes? We use rate-distortion to formalize the notion of media quality and to formulate the corresponding optimization problem. We show that current approaches in which multimedia compression and network delivery mechanisms are designed separately are inherently suboptimal. Thus, better utilization of network resources requires a joint consideration of media compression and network delivery. We develop one such approach based on optimized delivery of balanced Multiple Description Codes (MDC), in which the MDC itself is also optimized with respect to the optimized delivery strategy. Simulation results are reported, verifying that our solution can significantly outperform existing, layered, solutions. As a byproduct, our solutions introduces a fundamentally different use of MDC. Up until now, MDC has been adopted to combat losses, mostly in packet lossy networks. We show that MDC is an efficient tool for network communication, even in error-free networks. In particular MDC, when properly duplicated at routers, can exploit the rich topological structures in networks to maximize the utilization of the network resources, beyond conventional coding techniques.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 January 2008
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 6822, Visual Communications and Image Processing 2008, 682206 (28 January 2008);
Show Author Affiliations
Nima Sarshar, Univ. of Regina (Canada)
Xiaolin Wu, McMaster Univ. (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6822:
Visual Communications and Image Processing 2008
William A. Pearlman; John W. Woods; Ligang Lu, Editor(s)

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