Non-Cooperative Game Theory Based Rate Adaptation for Dynamic Video Streaming over HTTP

Hui YUAN, Huayong FU, Ju LIU, Junhui HOU, Sam KWONG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) has demonstrated to be an emerging and promising multimedia streaming technique, owing to its capability of dealing with the variability of networks. Rate adaptation mechanism, a challenging and open issue, plays an important role in DASH based systems since it affects Quality of Experience (QoE) of users, network utilization, etc. In this paper, based on non-cooperative game theory, we propose a novel algorithm to optimally allocate the limited export bandwidth of the server to multi-users to maximize their QoE with fairness guaranteed. The proposed algorithm is proxy-free. Specifically, a novel user QoE model is derived by taking a variety of factors into account, like the received video quality, the reference buffer length, and user accumulated buffer lengths, etc. Then, the bandwidth competing problem is formulated as a non-cooperation game with the existence of Nash Equilibrium that is theoretically proven. Finally, a distributed iterative algorithm with stability analysis is proposed to find the Nash Equilibrium. Compared with state-of-the-art methods, extensive experimental results in terms of both simulated and realistic networking scenarios demonstrate that the proposed algorithm can produce higher QoE, and the actual buffer lengths of all users keep nearly optimal states, i.e., moving around the reference buffer all the time. Besides, the proposed algorithm produces no playback interruption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2334-2348
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number10
Early online date1 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to thank the Institute of Information Technology (ITEC) at Klagenfurt University for the valuable and basis work of DASH. They would also like to thank the editors and anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grants 61571274,61672443; in part by the Shandong Natural Science Funds for Distinguished Young Scholar under Grant JQ201614; in part by Hong Kong RGC General Research Fund(GRF) under Grant 9042322 (CityU 11200116); and in part by the Young Scholars Program of Shandong University (YSPSDU) under Grant 2015WLJH39.


  • bitrate adaptation
  • DASH
  • nash equilibrium
  • Non-cooperative game
  • QoE


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