Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 23–49 | Cite as

A multi-threshold online smoothing technique for variable rate multimedia streams

  • Roger Zimmermann
  • Cyrus Shahabi
  • Kun Fu
  • Mehrdad Jahangiri


Variable bit rate (VBR) compression for media streams allocates more bits to complex scenes and fewer bits to simple scenes. This results in a higher and more uniform visual and aural quality. The disadvantage of the VBR technique is that it results in bursty network traffic and uneven resource utilization when streaming media. In this study we propose an online media transmission smoothing technique that requires no a priori knowledge of the actual bit rate. It utilizes multi-level buffer thresholds at the client side that trigger feedback information sent to the server. This technique can be applied to both live captured streams and stored streams without requiring any server side pre-processing. We have implemented this scheme in our continuous media server and verified its operation across real world LAN and WAN connections. The results show smoother transmission schedules than any other previously proposed online technique.


Continuous media delivery Continuous media servers Smoothing Video on demand 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Zimmermann
    • 1
  • Cyrus Shahabi
    • 1
  • Kun Fu
    • 1
  • Mehrdad Jahangiri
    • 1
  1. 1.Integrated Media Systems Center and Computer Science DepartmentUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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