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Improving Resilience of Communication in Information Dissemination for Time-Critical Applications

Severe weather impacts life and in this dire condition, people rely on communication, to organize relief and stay in touch with their loved ones. In such situations, cellular network infrastructure\footnote{We refer to cellular network infrastructure as infrastructure for the entirety of this document} might be affected due to power outage, link failures, etc. This urges us to look at Ad-hoc mode of communication, to offload major traffic partially or fully from the infrastructure, depending on the status of it. We look into threefold approach, ranging from the case where the infrastructure is completely unavailable, to where it has been replaced by make shift low capacity mobile cellular base station. First, we look into communication without infrastructure and timely, dissemination of weather alerts specific to geographical areas. We look into the specific case of floods as they affect significant number of people. Due to the nature of the problem we can utilize the properties of Information Centric Networking (ICN) in this context, namely: i) Flexibility and high failure resistance: Any node in the network that has the information can satisfy the query ii) Robust: Only sensor and car need to communicate iii) Fine grained geo-location specific information dissemination. We analyze how message forwarding using ICN on top of Ad hoc network, approach compares to the one based on infrastructure, that is less resilient in the case of disaster. In addition, we compare the performance of different message forwarding strategies in VANETs (Vehicular Adhoc Networks) using ICN. Our results show that ICN strategy outperforms the infrastructure-based approach as it is 100 times faster for 63\% of total messages delivered. Then we look into the case where we have the cellular network infrastructure, but it is being pressured due to rapid increase in volume of network traffic (as seen during a major event) or it has been replaced by low capacity mobile tower. In this case we look at offloading as much traffic as possible from the infrastructure to device-to-device communication. However, the host-oriented model of the TCP/IP-based Internet poses challenges to this communication pattern. A scheme that uses an ICN model to fetch content from nearby peers, increases the resiliency of the network in cases of outages and disasters. We collected content popularity statistics from social media to create a content request pattern and evaluate our approach through the simulation of realistic urban scenarios. Additionally, we analyze the scenario of large crowds in sports venues. Our simulation results show that we can offload traffic from the backhaul network by up to 51.7\%, suggesting an advantageous path to support the surge in traffic while keeping complexity and cost for the network operator at manageable levels. Finally, we look at adaptive bit-rate streaming (ABR) streaming, which has contributed significantly to the reduction of video playout stalling, mainly in highly variable bandwidth conditions. ABR clients continue to suffer from the variation of bit rate qualities over the duration of a streaming session. Similar to stalling, these variations in bit rate quality have a negative impact on the users’ Quality of Experience (QoE). We use a trace from a large-scale CDN to show that such quality changes occur in a significant amount of streaming sessions and investigate an ABR video segment retransmission approach to reduce the number of such quality changes. As the new HTTP/2 standard is becoming increasingly popular, we also see an increase in the usage of HTTP/2 as an alternative protocol for the transmission of web traffic including video streaming. Using various network conditions, we conduct a systematic comparison of existing transport layer approaches for HTTP/2 that is best suited for ABR segment retransmissions. Since it is well known that both protocols provide a series of improvements over HTTP/1.1, we perform experiments both in controlled environments and over transcontinental links in the Internet and find that these benefits also “trickle up” into the application layer when it comes to ABR video streaming where HTTP/2 retransmissions can significantly improve the average quality bitrate while simultaneously minimizing bit rate variations over the duration of a streaming session. Taking inspiration from the first two approaches, we take into account the resiliency of a multi-path approach and further look at a multi-path and multi-stream approach to ABR streaming and demonstrate that losses on one path have very little impact on the other from the same multi-path connection and this increases throughput and resiliency of communication.
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