Optimal bit allocation for fine-grained scalable video sequences in distributed streaming environments

Chenghsin Hsu, Mohamed Hefeeda

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


We present optimal schemes for allocating bits of fine-grained scalable video sequences among multiple senders streaming to a single receiver. This allocation problem is critical in optimizing the perceived quality in peer-to-peer and distributed multi-server streaming environments. Senders in such environments are heterogeneous in their outgoing bandwidth and they hold different portions of the video stream. We formulate the allocation problem as an optimization problem, which is nonlinear in general. We use rate-distortion models in the formulation to achieve the minimum distortion in the rendered video, constrained by the outgoing bandwidth of senders, availability of video data at senders, and incoming bandwidth of receiver. We show how the adopted rate-distortion models transform the nonlinear problem to an integer linear programming (ILP) problem. We then design a simple rounding scheme that transforms the ILP problem to a linear programming (LP) one, which can be solved efficiently using common optimization techniques such as the Simplex method. We prove that our rounding scheme always produces a feasible solution, and the solution is within a negligible margin from the optimal solution. We also propose a new algorithm (FGSAssign) for the allocation problem that runs in O(n log n) steps, where n is the number of senders. We prove that FGSAssign is optimal. Because of its short running time, FGSAssign can be used in real time during the streaming session. Our experimental study validates our analytical analysis and shows the effectiveness of our allocation algorithm in improving the video quality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventMultimedia Computing and Networking 2007 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 31 Jan 20071 Feb 2007


OtherMultimedia Computing and Networking 2007
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA



  • Distributed streaming
  • FGS
  • Fine-grained scalable streaming
  • Peer-to-peer streaming
  • Rate-distortion optimized streaming
  • Video streaming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Hsu, C., & Hefeeda, M. (2007). Optimal bit allocation for fine-grained scalable video sequences in distributed streaming environments. In Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 6504). [650402] https://doi.org/10.1117/12.706047