Low-Cost Data Merging Technique Significantly Reduces Internet Video Traffic

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Results of an experiment using a set of nodes in a wireless mesh network with DSM and a conventional routing approach (without DSM). As the red graph line of the non-DSM approach shows, an increase in the demand for a video increases lag time and makes the video essentially unwatchable.
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Researchers
Kien Hua, Ph.D.
External Link (www.cecs.ucf.edu)
Managed By
Andrea Adkins
Assistant Director 407.823.0138
Patent Protection

PCT Patent Application WO 2016/014893 A1

Unique method enables Tier 1 internet service providers (ISPs) and large content providers to conserve network resources while distributing streaming content on demand without crashes, interruption or delays

A UCF researcher has developed a distributed video routing method that can streamline a network’s internet traffic, even during times of unexpected high demand for data. Unlike current data streaming techniques, Dynamic Stream Merging (DSM) software has the intelligence to handle sudden spikes in demand for videos; thereby preventing adverse effects on other daily internet traffic. The method also leverages the 80:20 data access pattern used by many video applications, substantially increasing service throughput.

Current stream sharing solutions rely on multicasting (which requires all users to watch the same data at an appointed time), and data caching, which weighs down networks with redundancy and latency, especially in a wireless environment. These solutions also require cooperation with the video server or its users. In contrast, DSM enables consumers to view data on demand, while reducing or eliminating redundancy and duplication. DSM also works independently, without having to coordinate with a video server or its users. More importantly, DSM is a network communication and not a caching technique, so it saves resources and reduces network traffic.

Technical Details

As part of a communications network, DSM facilitates the merging or sharing of identical data streams at various nodes or routers, thus conserving resources (for example, processing and bandwidth). DSM uses content identifiers to help determine if two video streams are identical and share the same data, despite originally being stored on different servers and with different server designations. Similar to a URL, a content identifier encoded in video streams and other forms of data helps facilitate duplication detection. Companies can apply the method to a physical network or an overlay network.

As an overlay topology, DSM employs a network of SMART routers (Small packet Merge-Able RouTers). With the software installed, each network router uses a redundancy control merging (RCM) algorithm to dynamically merge independent streams of the same video content and form a video streaming tree (VST). The merged streams are tunneled through the overlay together with TCP sessions information before eventually being de­multiplexed and delivered to the clients, fully compatible with the TCP protocol. The network can then distribute the merged streams to different users at different times or on demand.

Benefits

  • Low cost
  • Significantly reduces redundant internet traffic in video-on-demand services
  • Enables effective use of costly internet bandwidth and reduces energy consumption

Applications

  • Video sharing in a wireless mesh access (WMA) network environment
  • Internet backbone traffic control for Tier 1 Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
  • High-volume, on-demand data streaming managed by major content provider networks