Service quality assurance for the IPTV networks
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The objective of the proposed research is to design and evaluate end-to-end solutions to support the Quality of Experience (QoE) for the Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service. IPTV is a system that integrates voice, video, and data delivery into a single Internet Protocol (IP) framework to enable interactive broadcasting services at the subscribers. It promises significant advantages for both service providers and subscribers. For instance, unlike conventional broadcasting systems, IPTV broadcasts will not be restricted by the limited number of channels in the broadcast/radio spectrum. Furthermore, IPTV will provide its subscribers with the opportunity to access and interact with a wide variety of high-quality on-demand video content over the Internet. However, these advantages come at the expense of stricter quality of service (QoS) requirements than traditional Internet applications. Since IPTV is considered as a real-time broadcast service over the Internet, the success of the IPTV service depends on the QoE perceived by the end-users. The characteristics of the video traffic as well as the high-quality requirements of the IPTV broadcast impose strict requirements on transmission delay. IPTV framework has to provide mechanisms to satisfy the stringent delay, jitter, and packet loss requirements of the IPTV service over lossy transmission channels with varying characteristics. The proposed research focuses on error recovery and channel change latency problems in IPTV networks. Our specific aim is to develop a content delivery framework that integrates content features, IPTV application requirements, and network characteristics in such a way that the network resource utilization can be optimized for the given constraints on the user perceived service quality. To achieve the desired QoE levels, the proposed research focuses on the design of resource optimal server-based and peer-assisted delivery techniques. First, by analyzing the tradeoffs on the use of proactive and reactive repair techniques, a solution that optimizes the error recovery overhead is proposed. Further analysis on the proposed solution is performed by also focusing on the use of multicast error recovery techniques. By investigating the tradeoffs on the use of network-assisted and client-based channel change solutions, distributed content delivery frameworks are proposed to optimize the error recovery performance. Next, bandwidth and latency tradeoffs associated with the use of concurrent delivery streams to support the IPTV channel change are analyzed, and the results are used to develop a resource-optimal channel change framework that greatly improves the latency performance in the network. For both problems studied in this research, scalability concerns for the IPTV service are addressed by properly integrating peer-based delivery techniques into server-based solutions.