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Understanding the power of pull-based streaming protocol: Can we do better?

Authors Zhang, Meng
Zhang, Qian
Sun, Lifeng
Yang, Shiqiang
Issue Date 2007
Source IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications , v. 25, (9), 2007, Dec, p. 1678-1694
Summary Most of the real deployed peer-to-peer streaming systems adopt pull-based streaming protocol. In this paper, we demonstrate that, besides simplicity and robustness, with proper parameter settings, when the server bandwidth is above several times of the raw streaming rate, which is reasonable for practical live streaming system, simple pull-based P2P streaming protocol is nearly optimal in terms of peer upload capacity utilization and system throughput even without intelligent scheduling and bandwidth measurement. We also indicate that whether this near optimality can be achieved depends on the parameters in pull-based protocol, server bandwidth and group size. Then we present our mathematical analysis to gain deeper insight in this characteristic of pull-based streaming protocol. On the other hand, the optimality of pull-based protocol comes from a cost tradeoff between control overhead and delay, that is, the protocol has either large control overhead or large delay. To break the tradeoff, we propose a pull-push hybrid protocol. The basic idea is to consider pull-based protocol as a highly efficient bandwidth- aware multicast routing protocol and push down packets along the trees formed by pull-based protocol. Both simulation and real-world experiment show that this protocol is not only even more effective in throughput than pull-based protocol but also has far lower delay and much smaller overhead. And to achieve near optimality in peer capacity utilization without churn, the server bandwidth needed can be further relaxed. Furthermore, the proposed protocol is fully implemented in our deployed GridMedia system and
ISSN 0733-8716
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Language English
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