Peer-to-Peer Television for the IP Multimedia Subsystem
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Peer-to-peer (P2P) video streaming has generated a significant amount of interest in both the research community and the industry, which find it a cost-effective solution to the user scalability problem. However, despite the success of Internet-based applications, the adoption has been limited for commercial services, such as Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). With the advent of the next-generation-networks (NGN) based on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), advocating for an open and inter-operable architecture, P2P emerges as a possible alternative in situations where the traditional mechanisms are not possible or economically feasible. This work proposes a P2P IPTV architecture for an IMS-based NGN, called P2PTV, which allows one or more service providers to use a common P2P infrastructure for streaming the TV channels to their subscribers. Instead of using servers, we rely on the uploading capabilities of the user equipments, like set-top boxes, located at the customers’ premise. We comply with the existing IMS and IPTV standards from the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and the Telecommunications and Internet converged Services and Protocols for Advanced Networking(TISPAN) bodies, where a centralized P2PTV application server (AS) manages the customer access to the service and the peer participation. Because watching TV is a complex and demanding user activity, we face two significant challenges. The first is to accommodate the mandatory IMS signaling, which reserves in the network the necessary QoS resources during every channel change, establishing a multimedia session between communicating peers. The second is represented by the streaming interruptions, or churn, when the uploading peer turns off or changes its current TV channel. To tackle these problems, we propose two enhancements. A fast signaling method, which uses inactive uploading sessions with reserved but unused QoS, to improve the tuning delay for new channel users. At every moment, the AS uses a feedback based algorithm to compute the number of necessary sessions that accommodates well the demand, while preventing the over-reservation of resources. We approach with special care mobility situations, where a proactive transfer of the multimedia session context using the IEEE 802.21 standard offers the best alternative to current methods. The second enhancement addresses the peer churn during channel changes. With every TV channel divided into a number of streams, we enable peers to download and upload streams different from their current channel, increasing the stability of their participation. Unlike similar work, we benefit from our estimation of the user demand and propose a decentralized method for via balanced assignment of peer bandwidth. We evaluate the performance of the P2PTV through modeling and large-scale computer simulations. A simpler experimental setting, with pure P2P streaming, indicates the improvements over the delay and peer churn. In complex scenarios, such as those with resource-poor peers having a limited upload capacity, we envision P2P as a complementary solution to traditional approaches like IP multicast. Reserving P2P for unpopular TV channels exploits the peer capacity and prevents the necessity of a large number of sparsely used multicast trees. Future work may refine the AS algorithms, address different experimental scenarios, and extend the lessons learned to non-IMS networks.
SubjectQ Science::Q Science (General)
Q Science::QA Mathematics::QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology::T Technology (General)
T Technology::TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology::TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering