Doctor of Philosophy
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Xianbin Wang
Although the Internet was not originally designed for exchanging multimedia streams, consumers heavily depend on it for audiovisual data delivery. The intermittent nature of multimedia traffic, the unguaranteed underlying communication infrastructure, and dynamic user behavior collectively result in the degradation of Quality-of-Service (QoS) and Quality-of-Experience (QoE) perceived by end-users. Consequently, the volume of signalling messages is inevitably increased to compensate for the degradation of the desired service qualities. Improved multimedia services could leverage adaptive streaming as well as blockchain-based solutions to enhance media-rich experiences over the Internet at the cost of increased signalling volume. Many recent studies in the literature provide signalling reduction and blockchain-based methods for authenticated media access over the Internet while utilizing resources quasi-efficiently. To further increase the efficiency of multimedia communications, novel signalling overhead and content access latency reduction solutions are investigated in this dissertation including: (1) the first two research topics utilize steganography to reduce signalling bandwidth utilization while increasing the capacity of the multimedia network; and (2) the third research topic utilizes multimedia content access request management schemes to guarantee throughput values for servicing users, end-devices, and the network. Signalling of multimedia streaming is generated at every layer of the communication protocol stack; At the highest layer, segment requests are generated, and at the lower layers, byte tracking messages are exchanged. Through leveraging steganography, essential signalling information is encoded within multimedia payloads to reduce the amount of resources consumed by non-payload data. The first steganographic solution hides signalling messages within multimedia payloads, thereby freeing intermediate node buffers from queuing non-payload packets. Consequently, source nodes are capable of delivering control information to receiving nodes at no additional network overhead. A utility function is designed to minimize the volume of overhead exchanged while minimizing visual artifacts. Therefore, the proposed scheme is designed to leverage the fidelity of the multimedia stream to reduce the largest amount of control overhead with the lowest negative visual impact. The second steganographic solution enables protocol translation through embedding packet header information within payload data to alternatively utilize lightweight headers. The protocol translator leverages a proposed utility function to enable the maximum number of translations while maintaining QoS and QoE requirements in terms of packet throughput and playback bit-rate. As the number of multimedia users and sources increases, decentralized content access and management over a blockchain-based system is inevitable. Blockchain technologies suffer from large processing latencies; consequently reducing the throughput of a multimedia network. Reducing blockchain-based access latencies is therefore essential to maintaining a decentralized scalable model with seamless functionality and efficient utilization of resources. Adapting blockchains to feeless applications will then port the utility of ledger-based networks to audiovisual applications in a faultless manner. The proposed transaction processing scheme will enable ledger maintainers in sustaining desired throughputs necessary for delivering expected QoS and QoE values for decentralized audiovisual platforms. A block slicing algorithm is designed to ensure that the ledger maintenance strategy is benefiting the operations of the blockchain-based multimedia network. Using the proposed algorithm, the throughput and latency of operations within the multimedia network are then maintained at a desired level.
Summary for Lay Audience
The Internet was not initially designed for exchanging multimedia streams but for sending and receiving bytes of data. The consumer Internet is heavily utilized for exchanging audiovisual data while it is not the best medium for transmitting said data. The intermittent nature of multimedia traffic, the unguaranteed underlying communication infrastructure, and dynamic user behaviour collectively result in the degradation of perceived multimedia quality by end-users. To compensate for the decreased perceived quality, the volume of signalling messages increases to attempt pushing the quality metrics to the desired levels. To improve the utility of the Internet in delivering multimedia, adaptive streaming solutions as well as blockchain-based solutions are utilized to cope with the Internet's environment. Many recent studies attempt reducing the volume of signalling overhead generated by the aforementioned streaming solution quasi-efficiently. To further increase the efficiency of multimedia communications, novel signalling overhead and content access latency reduction solutions are investigated in this dissertation including: (1) the first two research topics utilize covert channels to reduce signalling bandwidth utilization while increasing the capacity of the multimedia network; and (2) the third research topic utilizes multimedia content access request management schemes to guarantee throughput values for servicing users, end-devices, and the network.
Shamieh, Fuad, "Enhanced Multimedia Exchanges over the Internet" (2019). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 6271.