A framework for cross-layer optimization of video streaming in wireless networks

Cheng Hsin Hsu, Mohamed Hefeeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


We present a general framework for optimizing the quality of video streaming in wireless networks that are composed of multiple wireless stations. The framework is general because: (I) it can be applied to different wireless networks, such as IEEE 802.11e WLAN and IEEE 802.16 WiMAX, (II) it can employ different objective functions for the optimization, and (III) it can adopt various models for the wireless channel, the link layer, and the distortion of the video streams in the application layer. The optimization framework controls parameters in different layers to optimally allocate the wireless network resources among all stations. More specifically, we address this video optimization problem in two steps. First, we formulate an abstract optimization problem for video streaming in wireless networks in general. This formulation exposes the important interaction between parameters belonging to different layers in the network stack. Then, we instantiate and solve the general problem for the recent IEEE 802.11e WLANs, which support prioritized traffic classes. We show how the calculated optimal solutions can efficiently be implemented in the distributed mode of the IEEE 802.11e standard. We evaluate our proposed solution using extensive simulations in the OPNET simulator, which captures most features of realistic wireless networks. In addition, to show the practicality of our solution, we have implemented it in the driver of an off-the-shelf wireless adapter that complies with the IEEE 802.11e standard. Our experimental and simulation results show that significant quality improvement in video streams can be achieved using our solution, without incurring any significant communication or computational overhead. We also explain how the general video optimization problem can be applied to other wireless networks, in particular, to the IEEE 802.16 WiMAX networks, which are becoming very popular.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Cross layer design
  • Effective airtime
  • Video optimization
  • WLAN
  • WiMAX
  • Wireless networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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