An Analytical Model for Streaming over TCP

  • Jinyao Yan
  • Wolfgang Mühlbauer
  • Bernhard Plattner
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6869)


Streaming over TCP has become popular as demonstrated by the example of YouTube. To cope with variability in data throughput, streaming applications typically implement buffers. Yet, for improving the quality of user experience, it is critical to dimension buffers and initial buffering delays appropriately.

In this paper, we develop an analytical framework that describes the dimensioning of appropriate buffers. To this end, we propose to rely on modeling congestion window sizes immediately before a triple duplicate or timeout event. We observe that such “bounds” on TCP window sizes follow a Gamma distribution.

Although being of general use due to its simplicity and accuracy, our proposed TCP model is particularly useful for TCP streaming. As confirmed by experiments, it allows to estimate the frequency of buffer overflow or underflow events if buffer sizes and initial buffering delays are known parameters in the proposed TCP streaming model, or conversely, to dimension the buffer appropriately.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    Altman, E., Avrachenkov, K., Barakat, C.: A stochastic model of tcp/ip with stationary random losses. IEEE/ACM Trans. Netw. 13, 356–369 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bohacek, S., Shah, K.: Tcp throughput and timeout - steady state and time-varying dynamics. In: Proceedings of GLOBECOM 2004, pp. 1334–1340 (December 2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bolot, J.-C.: End-to-end packet delay and loss behavior in the internet. In: Conference Proceedings on Communications Architectures, Protocols and Applications, SIGCOMM 1993, pp. 289–298. ACM, New York (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Floyd, S., Handley, M., Padhye, J., Widmer, J.: Equation-based congestion control for unicast applications. In: Proceedings of the Conference on Applications, Technologies, Architectures, and Protocols for Computer Communication, SIGCOMM 2000, pp. 43–56. ACM, New York (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Guo, L., Tan, E., Chen, S., Xiao, Z., Spatscheck, O., Zhang, X.: Delving into internet streaming media delivery: a quality and resource utilization perspective. In: Proceedings of IMC 2006, pp. 217–230. ACM, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hogg, R.V., Craig, A.T.: Introduction to Mathematical Statistics, 4th edn. Macmillan, New York (1978)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mathis, M., Semke, J., Mahdavi, J., Ott, T.: The macroscopic behavior of the tcp congestion avoidance algorithm. SIGCOMM Comput. Commun. Rev. 27, 67–82 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Misra, V., Gong, W.B., Towsley, D.: Stochastic differential equation modeling and analysis of tcp windowsize behavior. In: Proceedings of IFIP WG 7.3 Performance (November 1999)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Padhye, J., Firoiu, V., Towsley, D.F., Kurose, J.F.: Modeling tcp reno performance: a simple model and its empirical validation. IEEE/ACM Trans. Netw. 8, 133–145 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Saxena, M., Sharan, U., Fahmy, S.: Analyzing video services in web 2.0: a global perspective. In: Proceedings of NOSSDAV 2008, pp. 39–44. ACM, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Stockhammer, T.: Dynamic adaptive streaming over http: standards and design principles. In: Proceedings of MMSys 2011, pp. 133–144. ACM, New York (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Wang, B., Kurose, J., Shenoy, P., Towsley, D.: Multimedia streaming via tcp: An analytic performance study. ACM Trans. Multimedia Comput. Commun. Appl. 4, 16:1–16:22 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wu, C.C., Chen, K.T., Huang, C.Y., Lei, C.L.: An empirical evaluation of voip playout buffer dimensioning in skype, google talk, and msn messenger. In: Proceedings of NOSSDAV 2009, pp. 97–102. ACM, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Yan, J., Muehlbauer, W., Plattner, B.: Analytical framework for streaming over tcp. ETH Zurich (2010),
  16. 16.
    Yan, J., Katrinis, K., May, M., Plattner, B.: Media- and tcp-friendly congestion control for scalable video streams. IEEE Transactions on Multimedia 8(2), 196–206 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinyao Yan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wolfgang Mühlbauer
    • 1
  • Bernhard Plattner
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Engineering and Networks LaboratoryETH ZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Communication University of ChinaBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations