Rate-distortion optimized streaming of packetized media

Philip A. Chou and Zhourong Miao


This paper addresses the problem of streaming packetizedfl

media over a lossy packet network in a rate-distortion optimizedfl

way. We show that although the data units in a media presentationfl

generally depend on each other according to a directedfl

acyclic graph, the problem of rate-distortion optimized streamingfl

of an entire presentation can be reduced to the problem of errorcostfl

optimized transmission of an isolated data unit.We show howfl

to solve the latter problem in a variety of scenarios, including thefl

important common scenario of sender-driven streaming with feedbackfl

over a best-effort network, which we couch in the frameworkfl

of Markov decision processes.We derive a fast practical algorithmfl

for nearly optimal streaming in this scenario, and we derivefl

a general purpose iterative descent algorithm for locally optimalfl

streaming in arbitrary scenarios. Experimental results show thatfl

systems based on our algorithms have steady-state gains of 2–6 dBfl

or more over systems that are not rate-distortion optimized. Furthermore,fl

our systems essentially achieve the best possible performance:fl

the operational distortion-rate function of the source at thefl

capacity of the packet erasure channel.


Publication typeArticle
Published inIEEE Trans. Multimedia
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
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