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Quality of Experience in ICN: Keep Your Low-Bitrate Close and High-Bitrate Closer

Wenjie Li, Sharief M. A. Oteafy, Marwan Fayed, Hossam S. Hassanein
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, Volume 29, Issue 2, April 2021, pp. 557–570. 2021
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Recent studies into streaming media delivery suggest that performance gains from ubiquitous caching in Information-Centric Networks (ICN) may be negated by Dynamic Adaptive Streaming (DAS), the de facto method for retrieving multimedia content. Bitrate adaptation mechanisms, that drive video streaming, clash with caching mechanisms in ways that affect users’ Quality of Experience (QoE). Cache performance also diminishes as consumers dynamically select content encoded at different bitrates. In this article we use this evidence to draw a novel insight: in adaptive streaming over ICN, bitrates should be prioritized alongside popularity and hit rates. We build on this insight to propose RippleCache as a family of cache placement schemes that safeguard high-bitrate content at the edge and push low-bitrate content into the network core. Doing so reduces contention of cache resources, as well as congestion in the network. To validate RippleCache claims we construct two separate implementations. We design RippleClassic as a benchmark solution that optimizes content placement by maximizing a measure for ICNs shown to have high correlation with QoE. In addition, our lighter-weight RippleFinder is then re-designed with distributed execution for application in large-scale systems. RippleCache performance gains are reinforced by evaluations in NS-3 against state-of-the-art baseline approaches, using standard measures of QoE as defined by the DASH Industry Forum. Our results demonstrate that RippleClassic and RippleFinder deliver content that suffers less oscillation and rebuffering, all while achieving the highest levels of video quality; thus indicating overall improvements to QoE.

Research Areas

Distributed Systems