Modeling Live Video Streaming: Real-Time Classification, QoE Inference, and Field Evaluation

Social media, professional sports, and video games are driving rapid growth in live video streaming, on platforms such as Twitch and YouTube Live. Live streaming experience is very susceptible to short-time-scale network congestion since client playback buffers are often no more than a few seconds. Unfortunately, identifying such streams and measuring their QoE for network management is challenging, since content providers largely use the same delivery infrastructure for live and video-on-demand (VoD) streaming, and packet inspection techniques (including SNI/DNS query monitoring) cannot always distinguish between the two. In this paper, we design, build, and deploy ReCLive: a machine learning method for live video detection and QoE measurement based on network-level behavioral characteristics. Our contributions are four-fold: (1) We analyze about 23,000 video streams from Twitch and YouTube, and identify key features in their traffic profile that differentiate live and on-demand streaming. We release our traffic traces as open data to the public; (2) We develop an LSTM-based binary classifier model that distinguishes live from on-demand streams in real-time with over 95 method that estimates QoE metrics of live streaming flows in terms of resolution and buffer stall events with overall accuracies of 93 respectively; and (4) Finally, we prototype our solution, train it in the lab, and deploy it in a live ISP network serving more than 7,000 subscribers. Our method provides ISPs with fine-grained visibility into live video streams, enabling them to measure and improve user experience.


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