SPIE Photonics West 1998
Conference paper

Applying statistical process control to the adaptive rate control problem

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Due to the heterogeneity and shared resource nature of today's computer network environments, the end-to-end delivery of multimedia requires adaptive mechanisms to be effective. We present a framework for the adaptive streaming of heterogeneous media. We introduce the application of online statistical process control (SPC) to the problem of dynamic rate control. In SPC, the goal is to establish (and preserve) a state of statistical quality control (i.e., controlled variability around a target mean) over a process. We consider the end-to-end streaming of multimedia content over the internet as the process to be controlled. First, at each client, we measure process performance and apply statistical quality control (SQC) with respect to application-level requirements. Then, we guide an adaptive rate control (ARC) problem at the server based on the statistical significance of trends and departures on these measurements. We show this scheme facilitates handling of heterogeneous media. Last, because SPC is designed to monitor long-term process performance, we show that our online SPC scheme could be used to adapt to various degrees of long-term (network) variability (i.e., statistically significant process shifts as opposed to short-term random fluctuations). We develop several examples and analyze its statistical behavior and guarantees.