WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

Computer Science Department

CStream: Neighborhood Bandwidth Aggregation For Better Video Streaming

Thangam Vedagiri Seenivasan

Advisor: Professor Mark Claypool

M.S. Thesis
Computer Science, WPI
May 2010


Video streaming is an increasingly popular Internet application. However, despite its popularity, real-time video streaming still remains a challenge in many scenarios. Limited home broadband bandwidth and mobile phone 3G bandwidth means many users stream videos at low quality and compromise on their user experience. To overcome this problem, we propose CStream, a system that aggregates bandwidth from multiple co-operating users in a neighborhood environment for better video streaming. CStream exploits the fact that wireless devices have multiple network interfaces and connects co-operating users with a wireless ad-hoc network to aggregate their unused downlink Internet bandwidth to improve video quality. CStream dynamically generates a streaming plan to stream a single video using multiple connections and continuously adapts to changes in the neighborhood and variations in the available bandwidth. We have built CStream and evaluated it on a controlled test-bed of computers with various performance measures. The results show linear increase in throughput and improved video streaming quality as the number of cooperating users in a neighborhood increase.