WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

Computer Science Department

Measurement and Method for Receiver Buffer Sizing in Video Streaming

Sahel Mastoureshgh

Advisor: Professor Mark Claypool

M.S. Thesis
Computer Science Department, WPI
May 2012


Video streaming has become increasingly popular with commercial video streaming applications such as YouTube accounting for a large quantity of Internet traffic. While streaming video is sensitive to bandwidth jitter, a receiver buffer can ameliorate the effects of jitter by adjusting to the difference between the transmission rate and the playback rate. Unfortunately, there are few studies to determine the best size of the receiver buffer for TCP streaming. In this work, we investigate how the buffer size of video streaming applications changes with respect to variation in bandwidth. We model the video streaming system over TCP using simulation to develop our buffering algorithm. We propose using a dynamic client buffer size based on measured bandwidth variation to achieve fewer interruptions in video streaming playback. To evaluate our approach, we implement an application to run experiments comparing our algorithm with the buffer size of commercial video streaming.