(19)
(11)EP 3 416 349 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
17.06.2020 Bulletin 2020/25

(21)Application number: 17760350.3

(22)Date of filing:  03.03.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H04L 29/06(2006.01)
H04L 29/08(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/KR2017/002344
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/150946 (08.09.2017 Gazette  2017/36)

(54)

DATA BUFFERING METHOD AND APPARATUS IN ADAPTIVE STREAMING SERVICE

DATENPUFFERUNGSVERFAHREN UND VORRICHTUNG IN EINEM ADAPTIVEN STREAMING-DIENST

PROCÉDÉ ET APPAREIL DE MISE EN TAMPON DE DONNÉES DANS UN SERVICE DE DIFFUSION EN FLUX CONTINU ADAPTATIF


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 04.03.2016 KR 20160026589

(43)Date of publication of application:
19.12.2018 Bulletin 2018/51

(73)Proprietor: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 16677 (KR)

(72)Inventors:
  • CHOI, Dae-Kyu
    Suwon-si Gyeonggi-do 16677 (KR)
  • BYUN, Do-Jun
    Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do 16677 (KR)
  • SEO, Sin-Seok
    Suwon-si Gyeonggi-do 16677 (KR)
  • JUNG, Hyeon-Hun
    Suwon-si Gyeonggi-do 16677 (KR)

(74)Representative: Gulde & Partner 
Patent- und Rechtsanwaltskanzlei mbB Wallstraße 58/59
10179 Berlin
10179 Berlin (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
KR-A- 20100 107 546
KR-A- 20150 045 317
US-A1- 2004 205 298
US-B1- 7 054 911
KR-A- 20140 055 019
KR-B1- 101 524 472
US-A1- 2015 271 072
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    [Technical Field]



    [0001] The present disclosure generally relates to an adaptive streaming service, and more particularly, to a method and apparatus for buffering data on the basis of multiple sessions in an adaptive streaming service.

    [Background Art]



    [0002] In a streaming service which can be used as a video-on-demand (VOD) service or an audio-on-demand (AOD) service, a terminal that provides the service reproduces a video or audio file in real time, while downloading the video or audio file from a servicer, rather than the terminal downloading the video or audio file from the server and then reproducing the video or audio file. Accordingly, even before receiving the file completely, the terminal starts to represent data by means of a browser or a plug-in of the terminal. Consequently, the streaming service advances the starting time of reproduction and scarcely affects the capacity of a hard disk driver, which is advantageous for the user, while also facilitating billing and minimizing illegal duplication of content, which is advantageous for the business operator.

    [0003] Along with the introduction of wired/wireless broadband communications which offer high transmission rates, such as asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL), very high-data rate digital subscriber line (VDSL), power line communication (PLC), optical communication, and 2.5th generation (2.5G) to 3rd generation (3G) mobile communications, streaming services have proliferated. This is because in order to enable the streaming service, a data-transmitting server and a data-receiving terminal should be able to transmit and receive a large amount of multimedia data continuously, and be able to provide the data to an application which reproduces data as video or audio.

    [0004] However, as multimedia data including video or audio has been developed toward high resolution and high quality, the amount of data has gradually been increasing, and the transmission rate is variable in many cases according to a user environment, such as the use time zone in which accessing users are concentrated, in view of the nature of Internet communication lines. That is, video or audio reproduction is often interrupted due to irregular data transmission rates. For example, on the assumption of content which is reproduced only when about, for example, 16Kb of data is introduced per second, if a communication line supports a transmission rate of 15kbps to 18kbps, interruptions may occur during reproduction. Buffering is a technique for reducing the interruptions. For example, if data to be reproduced for 10 seconds is pre-stored in a buffer at the beginning of the streaming service, and then the pre-stored data is reproduced, even though the amount of introduced data is less than the amount of reproduced data at a specific time point, the presence of the data buffered for 10 seconds may remarkably reduce interruptions.

    [0005] As described above, since the network state of a wireless network is unstable, compared to a legacy wired network, if a terminal provides the streaming service, the buffering technique of pre-storing a predetermined amount of data is very important. Therefore, there is a need for a method to receive data by effectively supporting a buffering technique in order to provide a streaming service adaptively, according to the network state of a wireless network.

    [0006] US 7,054,911 B is directed to a method of operating a streaming media cache. Furthermore US 2015/0271072 A1 deals with a method for rate controlled content streaming from a cache.

    [Detailed Description of the Invention]


    [Technical Problem]



    [0007] An embodiment of the present disclosure provides a method and apparatus for determining a buffering scheme and a buffer size for data buffering in an adaptive streaming service.

    [0008] Another embodiment of the present disclosure provides a method and apparatus for determining multiple sessions to receive data on the basis of a buffering scheme, buffer size, and network bandwidth in an adaptive streaming service.

    [0009] Another embodiment of the present disclosure provides a method and apparatus for buffering data on the basis of multiple sessions in an adaptive streaming service.

    [Technical Solution]



    [0010] In accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure, a method of buffering data in an adaptive streaming service on a terminal on which a streaming application is executed according to claim 1 includes measuring a per-session throughput and available bandwidth with respect to traffic generated from a streaming application, determining the number of multiple sessions on the basis of the per-session throughput and the available bandwidth, determining buffer size for pre-storing data on the basis of the cache hit ratio of the streaming application, wherein the cache hit ratio includes a rate of successful transmission of pre-fetched data from the buffer to the streaming application according to a request from the streaming application, generating at least one request message to request data on the basis of the number of multiple sessions and the buffer size, and transmitting the generated at least one request message to a server based on the number of multiple sessions and the buffer size.

    [0011] In accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure, an apparatus for buffering data in an adaptive streaming service according to claim 6 includes a controller configured to measure a per-session throughput and available bandwidth with respect to traffic generated from a streaming application, to determine the number of multiple sessions on the basis of the per-session throughput and available bandwidth, to determine the buffer size for pre-storing data on the basis of a cache hit ratio of the streaming application, wherein the cache hit ratio includes a rate of successful transmission of pre-fetched data from the buffer to the streaming application according to a request from the streaming application, and to generate at least one request message to request data on the basis of the number of multiple sessions and the buffer size, and a transceiver configured to transmit the generated at least one request message to a server based on the number of multiple sessions and the buffer size.

    [0012] Other aspects, benefits, and core features of the present disclosure will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the present disclosure, taken in conjunction with the attached drawings.

    [0013] Before the following detailed description of the present disclosure is processed, it may be effective to define specific terms and phrases used in the present disclosure: the terms "include", "comprise", and their derivatives mean limitless inclusion; the term "or" is comprehensive and means "and/or"; the phrases "associated with", "associated therewith", and their derivatives mean include, be included with, interconnect with, contain, be contained within, connected to or with, couple to or with, be communicable with, cooperate with, interleave, juxtapose, be proximate to, be bound to or with, have, have a property of, and so on; the term "controller" means any device, system, or a part thereof for controlling at least one operation, such a device being implementable in hardware firmware, software, or a combination of at least two of hardware, firmware, and software. It is to be noted that functionalities related to a specific controller may be concentrated or distributed, and local or remote. The definitions of the specific terms and phrases are provided throughput the present disclosure. Those skilled in the art should understand that in many cases, although not in most cases, the above definitions are applied to the future use of the defined terms and phrases as well as the conventional use thereof.

    [Brief Description of Drawings]



    [0014] 

    FIG. 1 is a simplified view illustrating an exemplary streaming system that provides an adaptive streaming service according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 2 is a view illustrating a method of buffering data by a terminal in order to provide an adaptive streaming service according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 3 is a view illustrating an exemplary method of monitoring traffic by a terminal during initial execution of a streaming application according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 4 is a view illustrating an exemplary method of monitoring traffic by a terminal during running of a streaming application according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 5 is a view illustrating the internal structure of a terminal that buffers data according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 6 is a view illustrating exemplary utilization of an available bandwidth according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    FIG. 7 is a view illustrating the result of buffering data according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.



    [0015] It is to be noted that similar reference numerals are used to denote the same or similar elements, features, and structures throughout the drawings.

    [Mode for Carrying out the Invention]



    [0016] The following detailed description with reference to the accompanying drawings is provided to assist in a comprehensive understanding of various embodiments of the disclosure as defined by the claims and their equivalents. It includes various specific details to assist in that understanding but these are to be regarded as merely exemplary. Accordingly, those of ordinary skilled in the art will recognize that various changes and modifications of the embodiments described herein can be made without departing from the scope of the disclosure. In addition, descriptions of well-known functions and constructions may be omitted for clarity and conciseness.

    [0017] The terms and words used in the following description and the claims are not limited to the bibliographical meanings, but, are merely used by the inventor to enable a clear and consistent understanding of the disclosure. Accordingly, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that the following description of various embodiments of the present disclosure is provided for illustration purpose only and not for the purpose of limiting the disclosure as defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.

    [0018] It is to be understood that the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to "a component surface" covers one or more of component expressions.

    [0019] Ordinal terms such as first or second may be used to describe, not limiting, various components. These expressions are used to distinguish one component from another component. For example, a first component may be referred to as a second component, and vice versa without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. The term and/or includes one or a combination of two or more of a plurality of enumerated items.

    [0020] The terms as used in the present disclosure are provided to merely describe specific embodiments, not intended to limit the scope of the disclosure. It is to be understood that singular forms include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. In the present disclosure, the term "include" or "have" signifies the presence of a feature, number, step, operation, component, part, or a combination thereof described in the disclosure, not excluding the presence of one or more other features, numbers, steps, operations, components, parts, or a combination thereof.

    [0021] Unless otherwise defined, the terms and words including technical or scientific terms used herein may have the same meanings as generally understood by those skilled in the art. The terms as generally defined in dictionaries may be interpreted as having the same or similar meanings as or to contextual meanings of related technology.

    [0022] Embodiments of the present disclosure relate to a method and apparatus for effectively buffering data in an adaptive streaming service. Particularly, the number of multiple sessions is determined on the basis of a throughput processed in one session and available bandwidth, with no modification made to a commercial streaming application, and buffer size is determined on the basis of the amount of data requested by the streaming application, in the embodiments of the present disclosure. Further, an embodiment of the present disclosure relates to a method of requesting and receiving data on the basis of the number of multiple sessions and the buffer size. Therefore, since data may be received as fast as possible by using the number of multiple sessions, the quality of experience (QoE) of a user may be improved, and a basic structure between a commercial streaming application and a server may be applied to a terminal without any modification made to the basic structure in the embodiment of the present disclosure. The QoE of the user includes the reduction of initial buffering time (a time period spanning from user selection of a corresponding VOD service to the beginning of reproduction), an increase in resolution (fast data reception in a network, transmission of data from the network to a streaming player, and maintaining high video quality), buffering prevention (appropriate pre-securing of data by pre-fetch), and so on.

    [0023] For this purpose, a detailed description will be given below of a method and apparatus for buffering data in an adaptive streaming service according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    [0024] FIG. 1 is a simplified view illustrating an exemplary streaming system that provides an adaptive streaming service according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    [0025] Referring to FIG. 1, the streaming system includes a terminal 110 that executes a streaming application, and a streaming server 130 that transmits data to the terminal 110.

    [0026] The terminal 110, which is capable of wireless communication, such as a smartphone, may execute the streaming application. The streaming application provides a streaming service such as a VOD service or an AOD service to a user. For example, the streaming application may be Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Player. The terminal 110 may redirect traffic requested by the streaming application to an internal proxy program, and determine parameters for data buffering by the proxy program. Particularly, the terminal 110 may identify a traffic request from the streaming application, measure a network state, and determine the number of multiple sessions and the optimum pre-fetch size from the measured network state. A method of determining parameters for data buffering in the terminal 110, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure, will be described below in detail with reference to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4.

    [0027] The terminal 110 requests data to the streaming server 130 on the basis of the parameters determined for data buffering. Herein, the terminal 110 may request data to the streaming server 130 by hyper text transfer protocol (HTTP). The terminal 110 may receive the data by HTTP, which the streaming server 130 transmits in response to the data request. HTTP used between the terminal 110 and the streaming server 130 is an exemplary protocol, and it is apparent that any other protocol is also applicable according to the type of application and the type of transmitted and received data in an embodiment of the disclosure.

    [0028] An exemplary streaming system that provides an adaptive streaming service, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure, has briefly been described above. With reference to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, a method of buffering data at a terminal to provide an adaptive streaming service will be described below.

    [0029] FIG. 2 illustrates a method of buffering data by a terminal to provide an adaptive streaming service according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    [0030] Referring to FIG. 2, upon receipt of an event related to the execution of a specific streaming application from a user, the terminal 110 executes the specific streaming application in operation 201. If the terminal 110 executes the specific streaming application, the specific streaming application allocates an ID for the specific streaming application to the terminal 110. Then, the terminal 110 internally redirects traffic generated with the allocated ID to a proxy program, on the basis of the allocated ID in operation 203. For the redirection, a daemon exists, and the daemon sets an "iptables" command to transmit traffic generated by the specific streaming application.

    [0031] Upon receiving internal traffic from the proxy program, the terminal 110 identifies whether the received traffic requests traffic for the streaming service in operation 205. That is, the terminal 110 identifies whether the received traffic requests traffic for an audio service or a video service. If the received traffic requests traffic for the streaming service, the terminal 110 performs traffic monitoring in operation 207. Meanwhile, if the received traffic requests traffic other than traffic for the streaming service, the terminal 110 bypasses the subsequent operations.

    [0032] The traffic monitoring performed when the traffic received at the terminal 110 requests traffic for the streaming service may be performed in different manners during initial execution of the streaming application and while running the streaming application. A method of performing traffic monitoring by the terminal 110 during initial execution of the streaming application will be described with reference to FIG. 3, and a method of performing traffic monitoring by the terminal 110 while running the streaming application will be described with reference to FIG. 4.

    [0033] FIG. 3 is a view illustrating an exemplary method of monitoring traffic by a terminal during initial execution of a streaming application according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    [0034] Referring to FIG. 3, the terminal 110 monitors whether traffic has been generated from the streaming application itself until a predetermined time a elapses in operation 301.

    [0035] Upon the generation of traffic in the streaming application before expiration of the predetermined time a, the terminal 110 ends the monitoring process for requested traffic, and processes the traffic generated from the streaming application by using one session. The reason for processing traffic generated from the streaming application at the terminal 110 is to prevent the initial measurement from obstructing traffic of the streaming application itself, thus decreasing the usability of the application for the user.

    [0036] Meanwhile, if traffic has not been generated from the streaming application within the predetermined time a, the terminal 110 identifies whether there is a measurement uniform resource locator (URL) for resources to be measured in operation 303. The measurement URL is a value stored during a previous normal operation of the application. If the application has not been executed previously, the measurement URL does not exist. Therefore, the terminal 110 ends the monitoring process and downloads data by using one session. In the presence of the measurement URL, the terminal 110 measures a per-session throughput (PST) for the measurement URL in operation 305.

    [0037] The terminal 110 identifies whether the PST measurement is successful in operation 307. If the terminal 110 fails in the PST measurement (e.g., if the measurement URL is not valid any longer), the terminal 110 will also fail in measuring available bandwidth, and thus ends the procedure, without the available bandwidth measurement. On the contrary, if the terminal 110 succeeds in the PST measurement, the terminal 110 measures the available bandwidth in operation 309. The terminal 110 downloads content on the basis of a plurality of sessions, and measures the available bandwidth of the network. The number of sessions to be used for content download at the terminal 110 may depend on the result of the PST measurement and the type of the connected network. The download rate of content in the plurality of sessions increases, starting from 0, and reaches the available bandwidth at a specific time point, and then no longer increases. Therefore, the available bandwidth may be set as a download rate of content, which converges to a specific value and thus does not change much. In this scheme, however, too much time may be taken for a download rate to converge to a specific value, and implementation is complex. Thus, the highest download rate after expiration of a specific time from the start of a download may be set as the available bandwidth. Upon completing the available bandwidth measurement, the terminal 110 may end the content download, or continue the download until the predetermined content is completely downloaded.

    [0038] FIG. 4 is a view illustrating an exemplary method of monitoring traffic by a terminal while running a streaming application according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    [0039] Referring to FIG. 4, the terminal 110 detects a traffic request generated from the application in operation 401. The terminal 110 determines whether a predetermined time b has elapsed from the time of performing the previous PST or available bandwidth measurement in operation 403. If the predetermined time b has not elapsed from the time of performing the previous PST or available bandwidth measurement, the terminal 110 identifies the result of the previous PST or available bandwidth measurement.

    [0040] Meanwhile, if the predetermined time b has elapsed from the time of performing the previous PST or available bandwidth measurement, at the time of detecting the traffic request, the terminal 110 measures a PST or available bandwidth. Specifically, if the predetermined time b has elapsed from the time of performing the previous PST or available bandwidth measurement, at the time of detecting the traffic request, the terminal 110 determines whether to perform a PST measurement or available bandwidth measurement, from an isBWEstimation parameter which may have only a value True or False. For example, the terminal 110 may determine whether the isBWEstimation parameter is True in operation 407. If the isBWEstimation parameter is True, the terminal 110 may measure available bandwidth in operation 409, and if the isBWEstimation parameter is False, the terminal 110 may measure a PST in operation 411. Upon completing the available bandwidth measurement or the PST measurement, the terminal 110 sets the value of the isBWEstimation parameter to the opposite value (i.e., !BWEstimation) in operation 413. As such, each time the PST measurement or the available bandwidth measurement is performed, the isBWEstimation parameter is switched to the opposite value. Thus, the PST measurement and the available bandwidth measurement take place alternately. The traffic monitoring process described with reference to FIG. 4 is repeated until the specific streaming application ends.

    [0041] With reference to FIGS. 3 and 4, the traffic monitoring operation 207 of the data buffering process illustrated in FIG. 2 has been described. Now, a description will be given of operations subsequent to the traffic monitoring operation 207 performed by the terminal, with reference made again to FIG. 2.

    [0042] Referring to FIG. 2 again, it is important for the terminal 110 to maintain an appropriate number of multiple sessions in order to prevent congestion. To this end, the terminal 110 may set the number of multiple sessions by dividing the available bandwidth by the PST according to <Equation 1>, the available bandwidth and the PST being measured in the manner described with reference to FIG. 3 or FIG. 4, in operation 209.



    [0043] Since the PST is a maximum rate that one session may achieve, the maximum number of multiple sessions which do not reach the available bandwidth may be calculated by dividing the available bandwidth by the PST.

    [0044] Then, the terminal 110 determines the pre-fetch size for data to be received from the streaming server 130 in operation 211. In a data buffering technique, the QoE of a user is generally determined according to the amount of data that the terminal 110 receives and stores in the beginning, with respect to a data request of the terminal 110. For example, if the terminal 110 receives too small an amount of data, buffering may occur in the streaming application, whereas if the terminal 110 receives too much data, the whole network is used inefficiently, thereby causing resource waste in the network and storage.

    [0045] Accordingly, the terminal 110 determines the pre-fetch size on the basis of a cache hit ratio of the steaming application. If the streaming application is initially executed, the terminal 110 performs pre-fetch in a fixed size. After receiving data in the fixed size set for the initial execution of the application, the terminal 110 determines the pre-fetch size on the basis of the cache hit ratio according to a request of the streaming application. In the cache hit ratio, cache hit refers to the transmission of pre-fetched data from the terminal 110 according to the request of the streaming application, and cache hit failure refers to discarding pre-fetched data at the terminal 110 because the streaming application does not request data. Meanwhile, since resolution varies with network situations in an adaptive streaming scheme, pre-fetched data may be discarded in some cases.

    [0046] The terminal 110 determines the pre-fetch size on the basis of the property of a cache hit ratio. That is, if the cache hit ratio increases, this implies that the streaming application continuously takes pre-fetched data from the terminal 110. Thus, if the cache hit ratio increases, the terminal 110 increases the pre-fetch size, determining that a predicted resolution matches a desired resolution of the streaming application and thus the streaming application operates normally. If the cache hit ratio decreases, the terminal 110 decreases the pre-fetch size, determining that the predicted resolution does not match the desired resolution of the streaming application, and thus the amount of discarded data increases. Therefore, the terminal 110 is capable of reducing the amount of discarded data by decreasing the pre-fetch size and thus increases the cache hit ratio, thereby efficiently using a current network.

    [0047] Subsequently, the terminal 110 generates a request message for requesting data to the streaming server 130 on the basis of the determined number of multiple sessions and pre-fetch size in operation 213. The terminal 110 may determine a per-session pre-fetch size by dividing the determined pre-fetch size by the determined number of multiple sessions, and at the same time, may generate request messages to be transmitted to the streaming server 130. The terminal 110 transmits the generated request messages to the streaming server 130 by HTTP in operation 215. The HTTP may be generated by using an existing Android library.

    [0048] For example, if the pre-fetch size is 1MB, and the number of multiple sessions is 5, the request messages may be configured as illustrated in the following <Table 1>. That is, the terminal 110 may generate 5 HTTP request messages of the ranges illustrated in <Table 1>, and simultaneously transmit the request messages to the streaming server 130 by using 5 threads.
    [Table 1]
    - Req1. Range : 0∼209,714 bytes
    - Req2. Range : 209.715 ∼ 419,430 bytes
    - Req3. Range : 419,431 ∼ 629,146 bytes
    - Req4. Range : 629,147 ∼ 838,862 bytes
    - Req5. Range : 838,862 ∼ 1,048,576 bytes


    [0049] Thus, the terminal 110 may simultaneously receive data of the same size through as many segmented sessions as the determined number of multiple sessions, as a response message to the request message in operation 217. Accordingly, since the terminal 110 simultaneously receives data of the same size in N sessions by utilizing the current network as much as possible, the network may be efficiently used in the embodiment of the disclosure. The above example is a case of using HTTP, and it is to be noted that the same is applicable to any other communication scheme.

    [0050] Then, after receiving the data, the terminal 110 transmits a response to the traffic request of the streaming application to the streaming application in operation 219. Accordingly, the streaming application may efficiently provide streaming data to a user by using data buffered in the terminal 110.

    [0051] With reference to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, the method of buffering data by a terminal to provide an adaptive streaming service, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure, has been described above. Now, a description will be given of the internal structure of the terminal 110 that buffers data, with reference to FIG. 5.

    [0052] FIG. 5 is a view illustrating the internal structure of a terminal that buffers data according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    [0053] Referring to FIG. 5, the terminal 110 includes a controller 501, a transmitter 503, a receiver 505, storage 507, and an input/output (I/O) unit 509.

    [0054] The controller 501 provides overall control to the terminal 110. Particularly, the controller 501 controls operations related to data buffering in an adaptive streaming service according to an embodiment of the disclosure. The operations related to data buffering in the adaptive streaming service, according to the embodiment of the disclosure, have been described with reference to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, and thus will not be described herein.

    [0055] The transmitter 503 receives various signals and messages from other entities included in a streaming system under the control of the controller 501. Various signals and messages received by the transmitter 503 have been described with reference to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, and thus will not be described herein.

    [0056] Further, the receiver 505 receives various signals and messages from other entities included in a streaming system under the control of the controller 501. Various signals and messages received by the receiver 504 have been described with reference to FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, and thus will not be described herein.

    [0057] The storage 507 stores a program and various data under the control of the controller 501, which are related to the operations related to data buffering performed by the terminal 110 in the adaptive streaming service according to the embodiment of the present disclosure.

    [0058] The I/O unit 509 inputs and outputs various signals and various messages which are related to the operations related to data buffering performed by the terminal 110 in the adaptive streaming service according to the embodiment of the present disclosure.

    [0059] Meanwhile, while the terminal 110 is shown in FIG. 5 as configured to include separate units such as the controller 501, the transmitter 503, the receiver 505, the storage 507, and the I/O unit 509, it is obvious that the terminal 110 may be configured such that at least two of the controller 501, the transmitter 503, the receiver 505, the storage 507, and the I/O unit 509 are integrated. Further, the terminal 110 may be implemented as one processor.

    [0060] As described above, if the method of buffering data by a terminal, according to an embodiment of the present disclosure, is used, available network resources can be used efficiently.

    [0061] To be specific, conventionally, a terminal transmits a probe packet to a server at every predetermined interval, and estimates available bandwidth with respect to a time point at which a property of the probe packet is changed. Moreover, the conventionally measured available bandwidth is available bandwidth between the terminal and the server, used for the available bandwidth measurement, not available bandwidth between a client and an application server with which an application installed in the terminal actually communicates directly. Compared to the conventional technology, a PST and available bandwidth may be measured on the basis of traffic specific to a streaming application in an embodiment of the disclosure. Since the number of multiple sessions may be calculated by using the PST and the available bandwidth (available bandwidth/PST), network resources can be used as much as possible, as illustrated in FIG. 6.

    [0062] FIG. 6 is a view illustrating exemplary utilization of available bandwidth according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

    [0063] Referring to FIG. 6, if the result of a test in a 10-Mbps environment indicates a good network environment, that is, if a delay, a jitter, and packet loss are low, a PST may sufficiently utilize available bandwidth, whereas if the network environment is poor, the PST does not sufficiently utilize the available bandwidth. It may be noted that the increase of the number of multiple sessions from 2 to 3 leads to sufficient use of the available bandwidth in this environment.

    [0064] If the method of buffering data at a terminal, according to the embodiment of the present disclosure, is applied, data can be received efficiently over a network without modifying the configurations and operations of a streaming application and a streaming server. That is, to increase data reception performance in the conventional technology, it is necessary to modify the configuration and operation of a streaming application and/or a streaming server. Further, since it is impossible to modify the configurations and operations of a streaming application and a streaming server in a commercial system, the conventional data buffering method is not viable. In contrast, the embodiment of the present disclosure proposes a method of buffering data at a terminal without modifying the configurations and operations of a streaming application and a streaming server, thus making it possible to still utilize the configurations and operations of a streaming application and a streaming server used in a commercial system.

    [0065] Further, if the method of buffering data at a terminal according to the embodiment of the present disclosure is applied, the pre-fetch size can be determined effectively.

    [0066] To be specific, data is received in advance by using a fixed pre-fetch size in the conventional technology. This conventional scheme is effective at a constant bit rate, that is, in receiving as much data as the fixed size irrespective of a network situation. However, the size of data to be received varies according to the network state in an adaptive streaming service, and thus the scheme of receiving data of a fixed size is not efficient. Compared to the conventional scheme, the amount of necessary data is calculated preliminarily on the basis of HTTP adaptive streaming (HAS), and the data is pre-fetched in the embodiment of the present disclosure. The pre-fetch size is an important factor in terms of the QoE of a user and efficient resource use, and the optimum pre-fetch size is determined on the basis of parameters determined in an initial stage in the embodiment of the present disclosure. Therefore, both aspects of the QoE of a user and efficient resource use may be satisfied.

    [0067] In addition, if the method of buffering data at a terminal, according to the embodiment of the present disclosure, is applied, the performance of data streaming can be improved. That is, pre-fetch may be performed on the basis of multiple sessions in the embodiment of the present disclosure. Therefore, compared to the conventional method of receiving data using one session, desired data can be received preliminarily by efficiently using a network in the embodiment of the present disclosure. For example, it may be noted that if the embodiment of the present disclosure is applied to a commercial player and server, a network state is measured as illustrated in FIG. 7.

    [0068] While the disclosure has been shown and described with reference to certain exemplary embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the scope of the claims.


    Claims

    1. A method of buffering data in an adaptive streaming service on a terminal (110) on which a streaming application is executed, the method comprising:

    measuring, by the terminal (110), a per-session throughput, PST, and an available bandwidth with respect to traffic generated from a streaming application (207);

    determining, by the terminal (110), a number of multiple sessions based on the per-session throughput, PST, and the available bandwidth (209);

    determining, by the terminal (110), a buffer size for pre-storing data based on a cache hit ratio of the streaming application (211), wherein the cache hit ratio includes a rate of successful transmission of pre-fetched data from the buffer to the streaming application according to a request from the streaming application; and

    transmitting, to a server (130) by the terminal (110), at least one request message requesting data based on the number of multiple sessions and the buffer size (215).


     
    2. The method of claim 1, wherein the available bandwidth is measured based on a predetermined number of sessions.
     
    3. The method of claim 2, wherein the number of multiple sessions is determined by a value obtained by dividing the available bandwidth by the per-session throughput.
     
    4. The method of claim 1, wherein if the cache hit ratio of the streaming application increases, the buffer size is determined to be larger than a predetermined buffer size, and if the cache hit ratio of the streaming application decreases, the buffer size is determined to be less than the predetermined buffer size.
     
    5. The method of claim 1, wherein the number of the at least one request message is proportional to the number of multiple sessions.
     
    6. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one request message is transmitted to the server (130) by using hyper text transfer protocol, HTTP.
     
    7. The method of claim 1, wherein transmitting comprises:

    generating the at least one request message, wherein size of the at least one request message is determined based on the number of multiple sessions and the buffer size, and

    transmitting the at least one request message.


     
    8. An apparatus (110) for buffering data in an adaptive streaming service, the apparatus comprising:

    a transceiver (503, 505); and,

    a controller (501) coupled with the transceiver (503, 505) and configured to:

    measure a per-session throughput, PST, and an available bandwidth with respect to traffic generated from a streaming application;

    determine a number of multiple sessions based on the per-session throughput, PST, and the available bandwidth;

    determine a buffer size for pre-storing data based on a cache hit ratio of the streaming application, wherein the cache hit ratio includes a rate of successful transmission of pre-fetched data from the buffer to the streaming application according to a request from the streaming application; and

    transmit at least one request message requesting data to a server (130) based on the number of multiple sessions and the buffer size.


     
    9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the available bandwidth is measured based on a predetermined number of sessions, and
    wherein the number of multiple sessions is determined by a value obtained by dividing the available bandwidth by the per-session throughput.
     
    10. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein if the cache hit ratio of the streaming application increases, the buffer size is determined to be larger than a predetermined buffer size, and if the cache hit ratio of the streaming application decreases, the buffer size is determined to be less than the predetermined buffer size.
     
    11. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the number of the at least one request message is proportional to the number of multiple sessions.
     
    12. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the at least one request message is transmitted to the server (130) by using hyper text transfer protocol, HTTP.
     
    13. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the controller (501) is further configured to:

    generate the at least one request message, wherein size of the at least one request message is determined based on the number of multiple sessions and the buffer size, and

    transmit the at least one request message.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zum Zwischenspeichern von Daten in einem adaptiven Streaming-Dienst auf einem Endgerät (110), auf dem eine Streaming-Anwendung ausgeführt wird, wobei das Verfahren umfasst:

    Messen, durch das Endgerät (110), eines Pro-Sitzung-Durchsatzes, PST, und einer verfügbaren Bandbreite in Bezug auf aus einer Streaming-Anwendung generierten Verkehr (207);

    Bestimmen, durch das Endgerät (110), einer Anzahl von Mehrfachsitzungen auf der Grundlage des Pro-Sitzung-Durchsatzes, PST, und der verfügbaren Bandbreite (209);

    Bestimmen, durch das Endgerät (110), einer Zwischenspeichergröße zum Vorspeichern von Daten auf der Grundlage einer Cache-Trefferquote der Streaming-Anwendung (211), wobei die Cache-Trefferquote eine Rate der erfolgreichen Übertragung von vorab abgerufenen Daten aus dem Zwischenspeicher zu der Streaming-Anwendung gemäß einer Anforderung aus der Streaming-Anwendung einschließt; und

    Übertragen, an einen Server (130) durch das Endgerät (110), mindestens einer Anforderungsnachricht zum Anfordern von Daten auf der Grundlage der Anzahl von Mehrfachsitzungen und der Zwischenspeichergröße (215).


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die verfügbare Bandbreite auf der Grundlage einer vorgegebenen Anzahl von Sitzungen gemessen wird.
     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 2, wobei die Anzahl von Mehrfachsitzungen durch einen Wert bestimmt wird, der durch Dividieren der verfügbaren Bandbreite durch den Pro-Sitzung-Durchsatz erlangt wird.
     
    4.  Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei, falls die Cache-Trefferquote der Streaming-Anwendung zunimmt, bestimmt wird, dass die Zwischenspeichergröße größer als eine vorgegebene Zwischenspeichergröße ist, und, falls die Cache-Trefferquote der Streaming-Anwendung abnimmt, bestimmt wird, dass die Zwischenspeichergröße kleiner als die vorgegebene Zwischenspeichergröße ist.
     
    5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Anzahl der mindestens einen Anforderungsnachricht proportional zu der Anzahl von Mehrfachsitzungen ist.
     
    6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die mindestens eine Anforderungsnachricht unter Verwendung des Hypertext Transfer Protocol, HTTP, an den Server (130) übertragen wird.
     
    7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Übertragen umfasst:

    Generieren der mindestens einen Anforderungsnachricht, wobei die Größe der mindestens einen Anforderungsnachricht auf der Grundlage der Anzahl von Mehrfachsitzungen und der Zwischenspeichergröße bestimmt wird, und

    Übertragen der mindestens einen Anforderungsnachricht.


     
    8. Vorrichtung (110) zum Zwischenspeichern von Daten in einem adaptiven Streaming-Dienst, wobei die Vorrichtung umfasst:

    einen Transceiver (503, 505); und

    eine Steuereinrichtung (501), die an den Transceiver (503, 505) gekoppelt ist und so konfiguriert ist, dass sie:

    einen Pro-Sitzung-Durchsatz, PST, und eine verfügbare Bandbreite in Bezug auf aus einer Streaming-Anwendung generierten Verkehr misst;

    eine Anzahl von Mehrfachsitzungen auf der Grundlage des Pro-Sitzung-Durchsatzes, PST, und der verfügbaren Bandbreite bestimmt;

    eine Zwischenspeichergröße zum Vorspeichern von Daten auf der Grundlage einer Cache-Trefferquote der Streaming-Anwendung bestimmt, wobei die Cache-Trefferquote eine Rate der erfolgreichen Übertragung von vorab abgerufenen Daten aus dem Zwischenspeicher zu der Streaming-Anwendung gemäß einer Anforderung aus der Streaming-Anwendung einschließt; und

    mindestens eine Anforderungsnachricht zum Anfordern von Daten an einen Server (130) auf der Grundlage der Anzahl von Mehrfachsitzungen und der Zwischenspeichergröße überträgt.


     
    9. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 8, wobei die verfügbare Bandbreite auf der Grundlage einer vorgegebenen Anzahl von Sitzungen gemessen wird und
    wobei die Anzahl von Mehrfachsitzungen durch einen Wert bestimmt wird, der durch Dividieren der verfügbaren Bandbreite durch den Pro-Sitzung-Durchsatz erlangt wird.
     
    10. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 8, wobei, falls die Cache-Trefferquote der Streaming-Anwendung zunimmt, bestimmt wird, dass die Zwischenspeichergröße größer als eine vorgegebene Zwischenspeichergröße ist, und, falls die Cache-Trefferquote der Streaming-Anwendung abnimmt, bestimmt wird, dass die Zwischenspeichergröße kleiner als die vorgegebene Zwischenspeichergröße ist.
     
    11. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Anzahl der mindestens einen Anforderungsnachricht proportional zu der Anzahl von Mehrfachsitzungen ist.
     
    12. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 8, wobei die mindestens eine Anforderungsnachricht unter Verwendung des Hypertext Transfer Protocol, HTTP, an den Server (130) übertragen wird.
     
    13.  Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Steuereinrichtung (501) ferner so konfiguriert ist, dass sie:

    die mindestens eine Anforderungsnachricht generiert, wobei die Größe der mindestens einen Anforderungsnachricht auf der Grundlage der Anzahl von Mehrfachsitzungen und der Zwischenspeichergröße bestimmt wird, und

    die mindestens eine Anforderungsnachricht überträgt.


     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé de mise en tampon de données dans un service de diffusion en flux continu adaptatif sur un terminal (110) sur lequel est exécutée une application de diffusion en flux continu, ledit procédé comprenant :

    la mesure par le terminal (110) d'un débit par session PST, et d'une largeur de bande disponible par rapport au trafic généré par une application de diffusion en flux continu (207) ;

    la détermination par le terminal (110) d'un nombre de sessions multiples sur la base du débit par session PST et de la largeur de bande disponible (209) ;

    la détermination par le terminal (110) d'une taille de tampon pour le pré-enregistrement de données sur la base d'un taux de réussite de cache de l'application de diffusion en flux continu (211), ledit taux de réussite de cache comprenant un débit de transmission réussie de données pré-extraites du tampon vers l'application de diffusion en flux continu en fonction d'une demande de l'application de diffusion en flux continu ; et

    la transmission à un serveur (130) par le terminal (110) d'au moins un message de demande de données sur la base du nombre de sessions multiples et de la taille de tampon (215).


     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, où la largeur de bande disponible est mesurée sur la base d'un nombre de sessions prédéfini.
     
    3. Procédé selon la revendication 2, où le nombre de sessions multiples est déterminé par une valeur obtenue par division de la largeur de bande disponible par le débit par session.
     
    4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, où, en cas de progression du taux de réussite de cache de l'application de diffusion en flux continu, la taille de tampon est définie de manière à être supérieure à une taille de tampon prédéfinie, et où, en cas de régression du taux de réussite de cache de l'application de diffusion en flux continu, la taille de tampon est définie de manière à être inférieure à la taille de tampon prédéfinie.
     
    5. Procédé selon la revendication 1, où le nombre desdits au moins un message de demande est proportionnel au nombre de sessions multiples.
     
    6. Procédé selon la revendication 1, où ledit au moins un message de demande est transmis au serveur (130) au moyen d'un protocole de transfert hypertexte HTTP.
     
    7. Procédé selon la revendication 1, où la transmission comprend :

    la génération dudit au moins un message de demande, la taille dudit au moins un message de demande étant déterminée sur la base du nombre de sessions multiples et de la taille de tampon, et

    la transmission dudit au moins un message de demande.


     
    8. Dispositif (110) pour la mise en tampon de données dans un service de diffusion en flux continu adaptatif, ledit dispositif comprenant :

    un émetteur-récepteur (503, 505) ; et,

    un contrôleur (501) relié à l'émetteur-récepteur (503, 505) et prévu pour :

    mesurer un débit par session PST, et une largeur de bande disponible par rapport au trafic généré par une application de diffusion en flux continu ;

    déterminer un nombre de sessions multiples sur la base du débit par session PST, et de la largeur de bande disponible ;

    déterminer une taille de tampon pour le pré-enregistrement de données sur la base d'un taux de réussite de cache de l'application de diffusion en flux continu, ledit taux de réussite de cache comprenant un débit de transmission réussie de données pré-extraites du tampon vers l'application de diffusion en flux continu en fonction d'une demande de l'application de diffusion en flux continu ; et

    transmettre à un serveur (130) au moins un message de demande de données sur la base du nombre de sessions multiples et de la taille de tampon.


     
    9. Dispositif selon la revendication 8, où la largeur de bande disponible est mesurée sur la base d'un nombre de sessions prédéfini, et
    où le nombre de sessions multiples est déterminé par une valeur obtenue par division de la largeur de bande disponible par le débit par session.
     
    10. Dispositif selon la revendication 8, où, en cas de progression du taux de réussite de cache de l'application de diffusion en flux continu, la taille de tampon est définie de manière à être supérieure à une taille de tampon prédéfinie, et où, en cas de régression du taux de réussite de cache de l'application de diffusion en flux continu, la taille de tampon est définie de manière à inférieure à la taille de tampon prédéfinie.
     
    11. Dispositif selon la revendication 8, où le nombre desdits au moins un message de demande est proportionnel au nombre de sessions multiples.
     
    12. Dispositif selon la revendication 8, où ledit au moins un message de demande est transmis au serveur (130) au moyen d'un protocole de transfert hypertexte HTTP.
     
    13. Dispositif selon la revendication 8, où le contrôleur (501) est en outre prévu pour : générer ledit au moins un message de demande, la taille dudit au moins un message de demande étant déterminée sur la base du nombre de sessions multiples et de la taille de tampon, et transmettre ledit au moins un message de demande.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description