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An Empirical Study of Flash Crowd Dynamics in a P2P-based Live Video Streaming System

An Empirical Study of Flash Crowd Dynamics in a P2P-based Live Video Streaming System Bo Li, Gabriel Y. Keung, Susu Xie, Fangming Liu , Ye Sun, and Hao Yin Email: lfxad@cse.ust.hk Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Dec 2, 2008 @ IEEE GLOBECOM, New Orleans

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An Empirical Study of Flash Crowd Dynamics in a P2P-based Live Video Streaming System

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  1. An Empirical Study of Flash Crowd Dynamics in a P2P-based Live Video Streaming System Bo Li, Gabriel Y. Keung, Susu Xie, Fangming Liu, Ye Sun, and Hao Yin Email: lfxad@cse.ust.hk Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Dec 2, 2008 @ IEEE GLOBECOM, New Orleans

  2. Overview:Internet Video Streaming • Enable video distribution from any place to anywhere in the world in any format

  3. Cont. • Recently, significant deployment in adopting Peer-to-Peer (P2P) technology for Internet live video streaming • Protocol design: Overcast, CoopNet, SplitStream, Bullet, and etc. • Real deployment: ESM, CoolStreaming, PPLive, and etc. • Key • Requires minimum support from the infrastructure Easy to deploy • Greater demands also generate more resources: Each peer not only downloading the video content, but also uploading it to other participants Good scalability

  4. Challenges • Real-time constraints, requiring timely and sustained streaming delivery to all participating peers • Performance-demanding, involving bandwidth requirements of hundreds of kilobits per second and even more for higher quality video • Large-scale and extreme peer dynamics, corresponding to tens of thousands of users simultaneously participating in the streaming with highly peer dynamics (join and leave at will) • especially flash crowd Real-time constraints Performance-demanding Large-scale and extreme peer dynamics

  5. Motivation Challenge: Large-scale & extreme peer dynamics • Current P2P live streaming systems still suffer from potentially long startup delay & unstable streaming quality • Especially under realistic challenging scenarios such as flash crowd • Flash crowd • A large increase in the number of users joining the streaming in a short period of time (e.g., during the initial few minutes of a live broadcast program) • Difficult to quickly accommodate new peers within a stringent time constraint, without significantly impacting the video streaming quality of existing and newly arrived peers • Different from file sharing

  6. Focus • Cont. • Little prior study on the detailed dynamics of P2P live streaming systems during flash crowd and its impacts • E.g., Hei et al. measurement on PPLive, the dynamic of user population during the annual Spring Festival Gala on Chinese New Year How to capture various effects of flash crowd in P2P live streaming systems? What are the impacts from flash crowd on user experience & behaviors, and system scale? What are the rationales behind them?

  7. Outline • System Architecture • Measurement Methodology • Important Results • Short Sessions under Flash Crowd • User Retry Behavior under Flash Crowd • System Scalability under Flash Crowd • Summary

  8. Some Facts of CoolStreaming System CoolStreaming • Cooperative Overlay Streaming • First released in 2004 • Roxbeam Inc. received USD 30M investment, current through YahooBB, the largest video streaming portal in Japan

  9. Stream Manager Member Manager Partner Manager BM Segments CoolStreaming System Architecture • Membership manager • Maintaining partial view of the overlay: gossip • Partnership manager • Establishing & maintaining TCP connections (partnership) with other nodes • Exchanging the data availability: Buffer Map (BM) • Stream manager • Providing stream data to local player • Making decision where and how to retrieve stream data • Hybrid Push & Pull

  10. Mesh-based (Data-driven) Approaches • No explicit structures are constructed and maintained • e.g.,Coolstreaming, PPLive • Data flow is guided by the availability of data • Video stream is divided into segments of uniform length, availability of segments in the buffer of a peer is represented by a buffer map (BM) • Periodically exchange data availability info with a set of partners (partial view of the overlay) and retrieves currently unavailable data from each other • Segment scheduling algorithm determines which segments are to be fetched from which partners accordingly • Overhead & delay: peers need to explore the content availability with one another, which is usually achieved with the use of gossip protocol

  11. Measurement Methodology • Each user reports its activities & internal status to the log server periodically • Using HTTP, peer log compacted into parameter parts of the URL string • 3 types of status report • QoS report • % of video data missing the playback deadline • Traffic report • Partner report • 4 events of each session • Join event • Start subscription event • Media player ready event • receives sufficient data to start playing • Leave event

  12. Log & Data Collection • Real-world traces obtained from a live event broadcast in Japan Yahoo using the CoolStreaming system • A sport channel on Sept. 27, 2006 (24 hours) • Live baseball game broadcast at 18:00 • Stream bit-rate is 768 Kbps • 24 dedicated servers with 100 Mbps connections

  13. How to capture flash crowd effects? • Two key measures • Short session distribution • Counts for those that either fail to start viewing a program or the service is disrupted during flash crowd • Session duration is the time interval between a user joining and leaving the system • User retry behavior • To cope with the possible service disruption often observed during flash crowd, each peer can re-connect (retry) to the program

  14. Short Sessions under Flash Crowd • Filter out normal sessions (i.e., users who successfully join the program) • Focus on short sessions with the duration <= 120 sec and 240 sec • No. short session increases significantly at around 18:00 when flash crowd occurs with a large number of peers joining the live broadcast program

  15. Strong Correlation Between the Number of Short Sessions and Peer Joining Rate

  16. What are the rationales behind these observations? • Relevant factors: • User client connection fault • Insufficient uploading capacity from at least one of the parents • Poor sustainable bandwidth at beginning of the stream subscription • Long waiting time (timeout) for cumulating sufficient video content at playback buffer • Newly coming peers do not have adequate content to share with others, thus initially they can only consume the uploading capacity from existing peers • With partial knowledge (gossip), the delay to gather enough upload bandwidth resources among peers and the heavy resource competition could be the fundamental bottleneck

  17. Approximate User Impatient Time • In face of poor playback continuity, users either reconnect or opt to leave • Compare the total downloaded bytes of a session with the expected total playback video bytes according to the session duration • Extract sessions with insufficient download bytes • The avg. user impatient time is between 60s to 120s

  18. User Retry Behavior under Flash Crowd • Retry rate: count the NO. peers that opt to re-join to the overlay with same IP address and port per unit time • User perspective: playback could be restored • System perspective: amplify the join rates • Users could have tried many times to successfully start a video session • Again shows that flash crowd has significant impact on the initial joining phase

  19. The gap illustrates “catch up process” • Media player ready rate picks up when the flash crowd occurs and increases steadily; however, the ratio between these two rates <= 0.67 • Imply that the system has capability to accommodate a sudden surge of the user arrivals (flash crowd), but up to some maximum limit System Scalability under Flash Crowd Media player ready Received sufficient data to start playing Successfully joined

  20. Media Player Ready Time under different time period • Considerably longer during the period when the peer join rate is higher

  21. Scale-Time Relationship • System perspective: • Though there could be enough aggregateresources brought by newly coming peers, cannot be utilized immediately • It takes time for the system to exploit such resources • i.e., newly coming peers (with partial view of overlay) need to find & consume existing resources to obtain adequate content for startup and contribute to others • User perspective: • Cause long startup delay & disrupted streaming (thus short session, retry, impatience) • Future work: Amount of initial buffering System scale ??? • Long  startup delay • Short  continuity

  22. Summary • Based on real-world measurement, capture flash crowd effects • The system can scale up to a limit during the flash crowd • Strong correlation between the number of short sessions and joining rate • The user behavior during flash crowd can be best captured by the number of short sessions, retries and the impatient time • Relevant rationales behind these findings

  23. Future work • Modeling to quantify and analyze flash crowd effects • Correlation among initial system capacity, the user joiningrate/startup delay, and system scale? • Intuitively, a larger initial system size can tolerate a higher joining rate • Challenge: how to formulate the factors and performance gaps relevant to partial knowledge (gossip)?

  24. Amount of Server Provisioning Expected Number of Viewers ??? along with their joining behaviors Further, how servers are geographically distributed • Based on the above study, perhaps more importantly for practical systems, how can servers help alleviate the flash crowd problem, i.e., shorten users’ startup delays, boost system scaling? • Commercial systems have utilized self-deployed servers or CDN • Coolstreaming, Japan Yahoo, 24 servers in different regions that allowed users to join a program in order of seconds • PPLive is utilizing the CDN services • On measurement, examine what real-world systems do and experience • On technical side, derive the relationship between

  25. References • "Inside the New Coolstreaming: Principles, Measurements and Performance Implications," • B. Li, S. Xie, Y. Qu, Y. Keung, C. Lin, J. Liu, and X. Zhang, • in Proc. of IEEE INFOCOM, Apr. 2008. • "Coolstreaming: Design, Theory and Practice," • Susu Xie, Bo Li, Gabriel Y. Keung, and Xinyan Zhang, • in IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, 9(8): 1661-1671, December 2007 • "An Empirical Study of the Coolstreaming+ System," • Bo Li, Susu Xie, Gabriel Y. Keung, Jiangchuan Liu, Ion Stoica, Hui Zhang, and Xinyan Zhang, • in IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, 25(9):1-13, December 2007

  26. Q&A Thanks !

  27. Additional Info & Results

  28. Comparison with the first release • The initial system adopted a simple pull-based scheme • Content availability information exchange using buffer map • Per block overhead • Longer delay in retrieving the video content • Implemented a hybrid pull and push mechanism • Pushed by a parent node to a child node except for the first block • Lower overhead associated with each video block transmission • Reduces the initial delay and increases the video playback quality • Multiple sub-stream scheme is implemented • Enables multi-source and multi-path delivery for video streams • Gossip protocol was enhanced to handle the push function • Buffer management and scheduling schemes are re-designed to deal with the dissemination of multiple sub-streams

  29. Gossip-based Dissemination • Gossip protocol - used in BitTorrent • Iteration • Nodes send messages to random sets of nodes • Each node does similarly in every round • Messages gradually flood the whole overlay • Pros: • Simple, robust to random failures, decentralized • Cons: • Latency trade-off • Related to Coolstreaming • Updated membership content • Multiple sub-streams

  30. Multiple Sub-streams • Video stream is divided into blocks • Each block is assigned a sequence number • An example of stream decomposition • Adoption of the gossip concept from P2P file-sharing application

  31. Buffering • Synchronization Buffer • Received block firstly put into Syn. Buffer for corresponding sub-stream • Blocks with continuous sequence number will be combined • Cache Buffer • Combined blocks are stored in Cache Buffer

  32. Comparison with the 1st release (II)

  33. Comparison with the 1st release (III)

  34. Parent-children and partnership • Partners are connected with TCP connections • Parents are supporting video streams to children by TCP connection

  35. System Dynamics

  36. Peer Join and Adaptation • Stream bit-rate normalized to ONE • Two Sub-streams • Weight of node is outgoing bandwidth • Node E is newly arrival

  37. Peer Adaptation

  38. Peer Adaptation in Coolstreaming • Inequality (1) is used to monitor the buffer status of received sub-streams for node A • If this inequality does not hold, it implies that at least one sub-stream is delayed beyond threshold value Ts • Inequality (2) is used to monitor the buffer status in the parents of node A • If this inequality does not hold, it implies that the parent node is considerably lagging behind in the number of blocks received when comparing to at least one of the partners, which currently is not a parent node for the given node A

  39. User Types Distribution

  40. Contribution Index

  41. Conceptual Overlay Topology • Source node “O” • Super-peers {A, B, C, D} • Moderate-peers {a} • Casual-peers {b, c, d}

  42. Event Distributions

  43. Media Player Ready Time under different time period

  44. Session Distribution

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