School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Exploring the fundamental nature of video traffic

Supervisor: Dr Richard Clegg

Research group(s): Networks

The vast bulk of traffic on the Internet today is video traffic. To understand the nature of the Internet today it is therefore vital that researchers gain a better understanding of the nature of online video. Most video traffic has a specific nature in that it is very "bursty" because of the way that providers choose to send traffic. It often appears as short spikes with a large amount of traffic and then quiet periods of several seconds with no traffic. There are important open questions about what happens when several users in the same network (for example in the same house) are watching video content at the same time. If the bursts happen together this could create packet loss and hence worse playback. Understanding and preventing the problem could greatly improve the experience of watching video on shared networks. This project will involve practical measurements and analysis of real traffic both at end user networks and also at intermediate points in the network. The goal of the project is to answer several important research questions: Can we develop a unified model of video traffic that estimates its character at all points on the network and that explains the real measured data? Can we show how multiple video sources combine on a home network? Can we use this knowledge to improve user experience when several users are viewing different video on the same network? This project will be jointly supervised by Dr Richard Clegg and Dr Gareth Tyson.