A Model for MPEG with Forward Error Correction and TCP-Friendly Bandwidth

A Model for MPEG with Forward Error Correction and TCP-Friendly Bandwidth

Huahui Wu, Mark Claypool, Robert Kinicki

In Proceedings of Workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video (NOSSDAV)
Monterey, California, USA
June 2003

The growing requirement of TCP-Friendly bandwidth use by streaming video plus the proven advantages of Forward Error Correction (FEC) to combat packet loss presents the opportunity to optimize the amount of FEC in a TCP-Friendly video stream. In this paper, we derive an analytical model for predicting the playable frame rate in a TCP-Friendly MPEG stream with FEC. Our model characterizes the Group Of Pictures (GOP) and Forward Error Correction (FEC) that are part of the MPEG video transmission. Assuming a network estimate for the packet loss probability, our model incorporates TCP-Friendly throughput constraints to calculate a total playable frame rate. For a given packet loss probability, we use our model to search the variable space to find the MPEG configuration that yields the optimal playable frame rate. Analysis over a range of network conditions indicates that adjusting FEC can provide a significant performance improvement, while adjusting a well-chosen GOP will contribute little improvement. Further analysis shows that a poor choice for a GOP can result in a large degradation of the playable frame rate. Overall, by introducing moderate amounts of FEC overhead, frame rates can be improved 10 to 50 times under network conditions with moderate to high loss rates.


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