Dynamic FEC Algorithms for TFRC Flows
ABSTRACT Media flows coexist with TCP-based data traffic on the Internet and are required to be TCP-friendly. The TCP protocol slowly increases its sending rate until episodes of congestion occur, and then it quickly reduces its rate to remove congestion. However, media flows can be sensitive to even brief episodes of congestion. In this paper, we are interested in protecting media flows from TCP-induced congestion while maintaining their TCP friendliness. In particular, we consider media flows carried over the TCP-Friendly Rate Control (TFRC) protocol and we design algorithms that dynamically adapt the level of forward error correction (FEC) based on the congestion state of the network. To this end, first, we investigate the loss and delay characteristics of TFRC flows in several TCP-induced congestion scenarios, and we develop novel predictors of loss events based on packet delay information. Second, we use these predictors to dynamically adapt the level of FEC protection based on the predicted level of congestion. We show that this technique can significantly improve the overhead versus reliability trade-off compared to fixed FEC. Third, we select the FEC and original media packets within each FEC block, in a rate-distortion optimized way, and we show that this technique significantly improves media quality.