Adjusting Forward Error Correction with Temporal Scaling for TCP-Friendly Streaming MPEG

Adjusting Forward Error Correction with Temporal Scaling for TCP-Friendly Streaming MPEG

Huahui Wu, Mark Claypool, and Robert Kinicki,

ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications (TOMCCAP)
Volume 1, Number 4
November 2005

New TCP-Friendly constraints require multimedia flows to reduce their data rates under packet loss to that of a conformant TCP flow. To reduce data rates while preserving real-time playout, temporal scaling can be used to discard the encoded multimedia frames that have the least impact on perceived video quality. To limit the impact of lost packets, Forward Error Correction (FEC) can be used to repair frames damaged by packet loss. However, adding FEC requires further reduction of multimedia data, making the decision of how much FEC to use of critical importance. Current approaches use either inflexible FEC patterns or adapt to packet loss on the network without regard to TCP-Friendly data rate constraints. In this paper, we analytically model the playable frame rate of a TCP-Friendly MPEG stream with FEC and temporal scaling, capturing the impact of distributing FEC within MPEG frame types with interframe dependencies. For a given network condition and MPEG video encoding, we use our model to exhaustively search for the optimal combination of FEC and temporal scaling that yields the highest playable frame rate within TCP-Friendly constraints. Analytic experiments over a range of network and application conditions indicate that adjustable FEC with temporal scaling can provide a significant performance improvement over current approaches. Extensive simulation experiments based on Internet traces show that our model can be effective as part of a streaming protocol that chooses FEC and temporal scaling patterns that meet dynamically changing application and network conditions.