Rate-distortion optimized streaming of fine-grained scalable video sequences

Mohamed Hefeeda, Cheng Hsin Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 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 first formulate and optimally solve the problem for individual frames, then we generalize to the multiple frame case. Specifically, 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 single-frame allocation problem that runs in O(nlog n) steps, where n is the number of senders. We prove that FGSAssign is optimal. Furthermore, we propose a heuristic algorithm (mFGSAssign) that produces near-optimal solutions for the multiple-frame case, and runs an order of magnitude faster than the optimal one. Because of its short running time, mFGSAssign can be used in real time. Our experimental study validates our analytical analysis and shows the effectiveness of our allocation algorithms in improving the video quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008



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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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