Avoiding Interruptions A QoE Reliability Function for Streaming Media Applications Academic Article uri icon


  • We take an analytical approach to study fundamental rate-delay-reliability trade-offs in the context of media streaming. We consider the probability of interruption in media playback (buffer underflow) as well as the number of initially buffered packets (initial waiting time) as the Quality of user Experience (QoE) metrics. We characterize the optimal tradeoff between these metrics as a function of system parameters such as the packet arrival rate and file size, for different channel models. In the first model, we assume packets arrive according to independent Poisson processes from multiple servers or peers.We use random linear network coding to simplify the packet requests at the network layer and avoid duplicate packet reception. This allows us to model the receiver's buffer as a queue with Poisson arrivals and deterministic departures. For this model, we show that for arrival rates slightly larger than the play rate, the minimum initial buffering required to achieve certain level of interruption probability remains bounded as the file size grows. This is not the case when the arrival rate and the play rate match. In the second model, we consider channels with memory, which can be modeled using Markovian arrival processes. We characterize the optimal trade-off curves for the infinite file size case, in such Markovian environments. 2011 IEEE.

published proceedings

  • IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications

author list (cited authors)

  • ParandehGheibi, A., Medard, M., Ozdaglar, A., & Shakkottai, S.

citation count

  • 75

complete list of authors

  • ParandehGheibi, Ali||Medard, Muriel||Ozdaglar, Asuman||Shakkottai, Srinivas

publication date

  • May 2011