PreSR: Neural-Enhanced Adaptive Streaming of VBR-Encoded Videos With Selective Prefetching

Gangqiang Zhou,Zhenxiao Luo,Miao Hu,Di Wu

IEEE Transactions on Broadcasting(2023)

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Variable Bitrate (VBR) video encoding can significantly improve the quality-of-experience (QoE) of viewing users due to its capability to provide much higher quality-to-bits ratio compared to Constant Bitrate (CBR) video encoding. However, the streaming of VBR-encoded videos suffers from large variance of video chunk size, which may directly result in frequent rebuffering if not properly handled. In this paper, we propose a novel neural-enhanced adaptive streaming framework for VBR-encoded videos called PreSR, which performs selective prefetching of video chunks to achieve a higher QoE for viewers. The design of PreSR is motivated by an important observation obtained from our measurement, namely, the video quality improvement and bandwidth savings brought by neural enhancement are more pronounced for low-resolution video chunks with complex scenes. By taking the above fact and the time required for neural enhancement into account, we formulate the problem into an optimization problem. Given that the problem is NP-hard, we design the PreSR framework, which is based on the model predictive control theory and also considers key features of VBR-encoded videos. PreSR parallelizes the download of video chunks and model inference processes to fully utilize the available compute resources. Finally, we conduct extensive experiments with real traces, and the results show that PreSR outperforms the state-of-the-art algorithms with an improvement up to 11.25% in terms of the average QoE.
Prefetching,super-resolution,variable bitrate,video streaming
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