Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Fourth International Workshop on Quality of Experience Management (QoE- Management 2020) collocated with NetSoft 2020 in Ghent, Belgium

Fourth International Workshop on Quality of Experience Management (QoE-Management)

28th and 29th of June 2020
conjunction with the IEEE Conference on Network Softwarization 2020 (NetSoft 2020)
Gent, Belgium

Recent technological advances have enabled a constant proliferation of novel immersive and interactive services that pose ever-increasing demands to our communication ecosystem. While service and application management has typically been centered around a set of Quality of Service parameters (e.g., packet loss, delay, jitter), there is a clear need to understand and model the impact of management decisions on Quality of Experience (QoE) metrics as perceived by the end-user. To date, a significant amount of research has been devoted to understanding, measuring, and modeling QoE for a variety of media services. The next step is to explore methods that actively exploit such knowledge to improve and manage the quality of multimedia services, while at the same time ensuring efficient and cost-effective network operations. Moreover, with many different players involved in the end-to-end service delivery chain, identifying the root causes of QoE impairments and finding effective solutions for meeting the end-users' requirements and expectations in terms of service quality is a challenging and complex problem.

QoE-Management 2020 aims at providing an international forum for researchers addressing emerging concepts and challenges related to managing QoE for networked services. The workshop addresses QoE management in the context of ongoing developments, such as the move to 5G and virtualized networks; the exploitation of big data analytics and machine learning in the domains of QoE modeling and monitoring; and solutions targeting emerging complex, interactive, and immersive service scenarios. In order to encourage collaboration, the workshop is distributed in two days: seminar and workshop paper presentations.

  • 28/06/2020: Seminar. Researchers with expertise in different areas of QoE research will sit together to brainstorm on different topics.
  • 29/06/2020: Workshop papers presentation. Original full and short paper presentations and a motivating keynote will thoroughly explore this challenging topic.

Topics of interest: SDN, NFV, and QoE; QoE-aware network and application management; Characterization and modeling of QoE; QoE monitoring and measurement, QoE oriented coding; Quality management applied to different business sectors and use cases; Experimental approaches for QoE management. In addition, we encourage the submission of novel, provocative ideas or late-breaking results that have the potential to generate lively debate and new perspectives as short papers or Seminar topics.

Important dates:

  • Paper submission deadline: February 15, 2020
  • Acceptance notification: March 23, 2020
  • Camera-ready papers: April 6, 2020
For the Seminar topics:

  • Topic submission deadline: May 15, 2020
  • Acceptance notification: June 1, 2020

Authors should submit their papers and seminar topics electronically via the EDAS online submission system.

For more information, you can visit the QoE-Management workshop website and the NetSoft conference website.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top-10 Blog Posts of 2019

Here's my top-10 list of blog posts of 2019 starting with a figure showing the overview of the number of views in 2019.

Overview of the number of views in 2019.
Interestingly, almost all blog posts have been published in 2019 except one but see below...

1. Post-Doctoral Research Positions in "Adaptive Streaming over HTTP and Emerging Networked Multimedia Services"

In this blog post, I was searching for post-docs as part of the ATHENA project, which actually started in October 2019. I'm very happy with the responses I've received but at the moment I'm no longer searching for post-docs. However, feel free to check the web site of the ATHENA project for updates.

2. ACMMM'19 Tutorial: A Journey towards Fully Immersive Media Access

The blog post related to my tutorial (together with Ali Begen) at ACM Multimedia 2019 provides an overview, link to the PDF summary as archived in the ACM digital library, and the slides. I hope you all find it useful and I'm happy receiving your comments, feedback, and suggestions for future tutorials in this research area.

3. Mobile data traffic report and forecast 2017-2022

This blog post is about the mobile data traffic report and forecast which basically confirms the trend that video traffic is also rising on mobile networks. It also reveals that Quality of Experience (QoE) is becoming more and more relevant to stakeholders in this area.

4. Doctoral Student Positions in "Adaptive Streaming over HTTP and Emerging Networked Multimedia Services"

Similar to the blog post with the highest number of views, this blog post was about doctoral students for the ATHENA project. I'm organizing a summer school in 2020, which could be relevant to some of you...

5. Open Source Scalable Video Coding (SVC) Software

This is a blog post from more than 10 years ago, which provides an overview of SVC open source projects. I believe that the reference software is still the most reliable source here but readers might be also interested in HEVC Scalability Extension (SHVC) which comes also with a reference software.

6. ACM NOSSDAV'19: Bandwidth Prediction in Low-Latency Chunked Streaming

In this blog post, I provide an overview of our NOSSDAV 2019 paper about our low-latency HAS approach using DASH and CMAF. It comprises the abstract, the link to the PDF in the ACM digital library, and the slides. Low-latency has been identified as a major issue in OTT/HAS, which is also highlighted in Bitmovin's video developer report.

7. QoMEX'19: Tile-based Streaming of 8K Omnidirectional Video: Subjective and Objective QoE Evaluation

This blog post is about our QoMEX 2019 paper and provides the abstract, the link to the PDF, and the slides. It targets tile-based streaming of 8K 360-degree videos and presents results from both objective and subjective evaluations. VR and specifically 360-degree videos are highly relevant application domains both in academia and industry and, thus, such evaluations are helpful when designing and developing these applications and services.

8. DASH-IF awarded Best PhD Dissertation on Algorithms and Protocols for Adaptive Content Delivery over the Internet

This blog post is the actual press release of the first DASH-IF  best PhD dissertation award and I can highly recommend reading all theses of all three winners which are (1) Enabling Optimizations of Video Delivery in HTTP Adaptive Streaming, (2) Low-Latency Delivery of Adaptive Video Streaming Services, and (3) Achieving High Performance Content Streaming with Adaptive Chunklets and Active Queue Management. Further details about DASH-IF's academic track can be found here and it is expected that ACM MMSys 2020 will come up with a DASH-IF award.

9. ACMMM'19: Towards 6DoF HTTP Adaptive Streaming Through Point Cloud Compression

In this blog post, I provide an overview of our ACM Multimedia 2019 full paper related to HAS for video-based PCC which comprises the abstract, the link to the paper in the ACM digital library, and the slides. Point cloud compression is a new MPEG standard and in this paper, we investigated the dynamic adaptive streaming thereof including extensive evaluations of various heuristics.

10. ACM MMSys 2020 Research Track - Call for Papers

The last blog post (in the 2019 top-10 list) is about the call for papers for ACM MMSys 2020. I can only highly recommend you to attend this event and there are many opportunities for submitting papers (i.e., research track, demo and industry track, open dataset and software, workshops, challenges). I hope to see you all next year at MMSys'20 in Instanbul!

Finally, I'd like to provide a screenshot of my all-time top-10 blog posts, mostly about HAS and DASH (hmm, interestingly but also unsurprising;). By the way, in my recent MPEG report, there's a status update about DASH.

All-time top-10 blog posts.

... and with this, I wish you all a Happy New Year and all the best for 2020 with a list of events in 2020 that are highly relevant for this blog:

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Overview of predictions for media, entertainment, and video delivery in 2020

As we're approaching the end of 2019 one may have noticed various articles describing predictions for media, entertainment, and video delivery in 2020. The goal of this article is providing a collection of such articles rather than yet another set of predictions. Hopefully, this leads to a broader picture of what to expect in 2020. Please feel free providing additional articles as comments ...

Sep 23, 2019: 8 Entertainment Tech Trends (CES.tech)
  1. Subscription streaming video services continue to grow
  2. Streaming media players unit sales are catching up to traditional set-top boxes
  3. Streaming device sales have replaced disc players, but disc legacy remains
  4. Smart TVs continue to grow
  5. 4K is beginning to get big
  6. Gaming is bigger than you think
  7. 5G is about to land
  8. VR and AR may finally realize their potential

Dec 9, 2019: Top 10 Predictions For Media & Tech In 2020 (Forbes)
  1. “The Great Streaming Wars” and global subscription video on demand (SVOD) land grab are finally fully “on” after years of anticipation.
  2. As cords continue to cut amidst these SVOD wars (or never connect in the first place), advertisers scramble for new ways to reach and effectively engage with audiences on and off TV screens.
  3. Mega media-tech M&A comes to a crawl (for now) in the wake of Viacom’s acquisition of CBS.
  4. Once maligned streaming again drives double-digit growth for the music industry.
  5. 2020 finally gives vision to augmented reality (AR) and its ultimate mass commercial appeal.
  6. 5G networks launch in earnest and 5G compatible smartphones (including Apple’s next iPhone) enter the market.
  7. Warnings grow about an eSports bubble, but smart money plays the long e-game as 5G fueled cross-platform and cloud-based mobile gaming accelerate.
  8. Artificial Intelligence (AI) accelerates its game-changing ways in the world of media and entertainment.
  9. Real, not virtual, live “experiences” also increasingly find their way into multi-platform media strategies, driven by a growing counter-movement to digital’s frequently heads down isolation.
  10. “Fake news” (including AI-driven “deepfakes”) overrun 2020’s U.S. elections and cause unprecedented societal disruption.
  1. 5G for media delivery
  2. AI spreads across the workflow
  3. Live streaming at scale in real-time
  4. Hybrid delivery: Get the best from broadcast and OTT for an improved QoE
  5. 8K content streaming
  1. OTT Rising
  2. Live Streaming Still Social Media Turf
  3. Mobile Is Now the Preferred Channel
  4. Extended Business Applications
  5. Fragmentation of OTT Content
  6. Music Streaming Displaces Radio
  7. Streaming Trends by Industry
  8. IOT Video Streaming
  1. Bringing AI to the device: Edge AI chips come into their own
  2. Robots on the move: Professional service robots set for double-digit growth
  3. Private 5G networks: Enterprise untethered
  4. High speed from low orbit: A broadband revolution or a bunch of space junk?
  5. The smartphone multiplier: Toward a trillion-dollar economy
  6. My antennae are tingling: Terrestrial TV’s surprising staying power
  7. Coming to a CDN near you: Videos, games, and much, much more
  8. Ad-supported video: Will the United States follow Asia’s lead?
  9. The ears have it: The rise of audiobooks and podcasting
  10. Cycling’s technological transformation: Making bicycling faster, easier, and safer
Dec 23, 2019: Video Borat's КазакФликс 2020 predictions, click on the Twitter thread below for further details... ;)

          Wednesday, November 27, 2019

          MPEG news: a report from the 128th meeting, Geneva, Switzerland

          The original blog post can be found at the Bitmovin Techblog and has been modified/updated here to focus on and highlight research aspects. Additionally, this version of the blog post will be also posted at ACM SIGMM Records.

          The 128th MPEG meeting concluded on October 11, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland with the following topics:
          • Low Complexity Enhancement Video Coding (LCEVC) Promoted to Committee Draft
          • 2nd Edition of Omnidirectional Media Format (OMAF) has reached the first milestone
          • Genomic Information Representation – Part 4 Reference Software and Part 5 Conformance Promoted to Draft International Standard
          The corresponding press release of the 128th MPEG meeting can be found here: https://mpeg.chiariglione.org/meetings/128.
          In this report we will focus on video coding aspects (i.e., LCEVC) and immersive media applications (i.e., OMAF). At the end, we will provide an update related to adaptive streaming (i.e., DASH and CMAF).

          Low Complexity Enhancement Video Coding

          Low Complexity Enhancement Video Coding (LCEVC) has been promoted to committee draft (CD) which is the first milestone in the ISO/IEC standardization process. LCEVC is part two of MPEG-5 or ISO/IEC 23094-2 if you prefer the always easy-to-remember ISO codes. We introduced MPEG-5 already in previous posts and LCEVC is about a standardized video coding solution that leverages other video codecs in a manner that improves video compression efficiency while maintaining or lowering the overall encoding and decoding complexity.
          The LCEVC standard uses a lightweight video codec to add up to two layers of encoded residuals. The aim of these layers is correcting artefacts produced by the base video codec and adding detail and sharpness for the final output video.
          The target of this standard comprises software or hardware codecs with extra processing capabilities, e.g., mobile devices, set top boxes (STBs), and personal computer based decoders. Additional benefits are the reduction in implementation complexity or a corresponding expansion in spatial resolution.
          LCEVC is based on existing codecs which allows for backwards-compatibility with existing deployments. Supporting LCEVC enables “softwareized” video coding allowing for release and deployment options known from software-based solutions which are well understood by software companies and, thus, opens new opportunities in improving and optimizing video-based services and applications.
          Research aspects: in video coding, research efforts are mainly related to coding efficiency and complexity (as usual). However, as MPEG-5 basically adds a software layer on top of what is typically implemented in hardware, all kind of aspects related to software engineering could become an active area of research.

          Omnidirectional Media Format

          The scope of the Omnidirectional Media Format (OMAF) is about 360° video, images, audio and associated timed text and specifies (i) a coordinate system, (ii) projection and rectangular region-wise packing methods, (iii) storage of omnidirectional media and the associated metadata using ISOBMFF, (iv) encapsulation, signaling and streaming of omnidirectional media in DASH and MMT, and (v) media profiles and presentation profiles.
          At this meeting, the second edition of OMAF (ISO/IEC 23090-2) has been promoted to committee draft (CD) which includes
          • support of improved overlay of graphics or textual data on top of video,
          • efficient signaling of videos structured in multiple sub parts,
          • enabling more than one viewpoint, and
          • new profiles supporting dynamic bitstream generation according to the viewport.
          As for the first edition, OMAF includes encapsulation and signaling in ISOBMFF as well as streaming of omnidirectional media (DASH and MMT). It will reach its final milestone by the end of 2020.
          360° video is certainly a vital use case towards a fully immersive media experience. Devices to capture and consume such content are becoming increasingly available and will probably contribute to the dissemination of this type of content. However, it is also understood that the complexity increases significantly, specifically with respect to large-scale, scalable deployments due to increased content volume/complexity, timing constraints (latency), and quality of experience issues.
          Research aspects: understanding the increased complexity of 360° video or immersive media in general is certainly an important aspect to be addressed towards enabling applications and services in this domain. We may even start thinking that 360° video actually works (e.g., it's possible to capture, upload to YouTube and consume it on many devices) but the devil is in the detail in order to handle this complexity in an efficient way to enable seamless and high quality of experience.

          DASH and CMAF

          The 4th edition of DASH (ISO/IEC 23009-1) will be published soon and MPEG is currently working towards a first amendment which will be about (i) CMAF support and (ii) event processing model. An overview of all DASH standards is depicted in the figure below, notably part one of MPEG-DASH referred to as media presentation description and segment formats.
          The 2nd edition of the CMAF standard (ISO/IEC 23000-19) will become available very soon and MPEG is currently reviewing additional tools in the so-called technologies under considerations document as well as conducting various explorations. A working draft for additional media profiles is also under preparation.
          Research aspects: with CMAF, low-latency supported is added to DASH-like applications and services. However, the implementation specifics are actually not defined in the standard and subject to competition (e.g., here). Interestingly, the Bitmovin video developer reports from both 2018 and 2019 highlight the need for low-latency solutions in this domain.
          At the ACM Multimedia Conference 2019 in Nice, France I gave a tutorial entitled “A Journey towards Fully Immersive Media Access” which includes updates related to DASH and CMAF. The slides are available here.

          Outlook 2020

          Finally, let me try giving an outlook for 2020, not so much content-wise but events planned for 2020 that are highly relevant for this column:
          ... and many more!

          Wednesday, November 6, 2019

          IEEE ICME 2020 – Industry papers and demos

          IEEE ICME 2020 – Industry papers and demos

          IEEE ICME annually attracts a truly global audience, with more than 500 attendees from academia and industry. During ICME 2020 we are expecting similar or higher levels of interest. Research on the covered topics is flourishing, and London’s rich academic and technological innovation scene is expected to attract large number of participants from all over the world.

          The expo (industry and demo) part of ICME 2020 provides the opportunity for industry leaders, start-up companies and academic institutions to showcase their innovative technologies and products. The expo will be co-located together with the technical poster presentations area, and will run continuously throughout the whole conference, thus representing a perfect opportunity to network and exchange ideas with internationally recognised researchers.

          We are inviting companies to submit their contributions for the expo in the categories summarised below. We especially solicit start-ups, incubators and university consortia to participate in the demo program.

          Industry papers, demo papers and hands-on demos: 
          • Will be presented during separate sessions during the main conference
          • Can be related to any of the technical areas covered by ICME
          • Should be submitted following the guidelines available online
          • At least one author of an accepted contribution should register for the conference and present the work 
          Industry / application papers

          Industry / application papers at ICME 2020 focus on technology and innovation developed towards solving real-world problems. Researchers and practitioners are encouraged to submit contributions, in the form of 4-page papers, describing practical applications of technology, and how multimedia technology can help in practical scenarios and/or commercial use cases. The papers will be reviewed following the same procedure as workshop papers, where novelty, presentation quality and experimental validation will be considered. The submission of papers is via CMT online system.

          Demo papers
          Demo papers are called for ICME 2020, which can be either proposed as an independent 2-page demo paper or associated with a paper from ICME 2020 main program and/or co-located workshops. The goal of the demo papers program is to promote applied research and applications, as well as facilitate collaborations between industrial and academic members of the multimedia community. A prospective paper should provide comprehensive descriptions on the innovative technology to be demonstrated, including the equipment involved and/or the set-up necessary for attendants to follow up an approach or system. The submission of papers is via CMT online system.

          Hands-on demos
          Proposals for industry hand-on (showcase) demos are invited to be part of ICME 2020. Each hands-on demo will be showed during poster sessions of one day of the main conference. This type of presentation is intended for R&D-focused demos by industrial partners to illustrate novel multimedia technology. Commercial products should be instead presented as part of the exhibition reserved for conference sponsors. Authors are invited to submit an abstract describing the technology being demonstrated, equipment that will be used, and the demo experience. The abstract should give details of the innovation showcased in the demo, and how it will appeal to the ICME audience. Demos should ideally have an interactive component. If the demo is associated with a paper submitted or accepted to ICME, please also provide the corresponding paper ID.

          Monday, October 14, 2019

          Happy World Standards Day 2019 - Video Standards Create a Global Stage

          Today on October 14, we celebrate the World Standards Day, "the day honors the efforts of the thousands of experts who develop voluntary standards within standards development organizations" (SDOs). Many SDOs such as W3CIETF, ITU, ISO (incl. JPEG and MPEG) celebrate this with individual statements, highlighting the importance of standards and interoperability in today's information and communication technology landscape. Interestingly, this year's topic for the World Standards Day within ISO is about video standards creating a global stage. Similarly, national bodies of ISO provide such statements within their own country, e.g., the A.S.I. statement can be found here (note: in German). I have also blogged about the World Standards Day in 2017.

          HEVC Emmy located at ITU-T, Geneva, CH (Oct'19).
          The numbers for video content created, distributed (incl. delivery, streaming, ...), processed, consumed, etc. increases tremendously and, actually, more than 60 percent of today's world-wide internet traffic is attributed to video streaming. For example, almost 700,000 hours of video are watched on Netflix and 4.5 million videos are viewed on YouTube within a single internet minute in 2019. Videos are typically compressed (or encoded) prior to distribution and are decompressed (or decoded) before rendering on potentially a plethora of heterogeneous devices. Such codecs (portmanteau of coder-decoder) are subject to standardization and with AVC and HEVC (jointly developed by ISO/IEC MPEG and ITU-T VCEG) we have two successful standards which even have been honored with Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards (see one of them in the picture).

          Within Austria, Bitmovin has been awarded with the Living Standards Award in 2017 for its contribution to the MPEG-DASH standard, which enables dynamic adaptive streaming over HTTP. This standard -- the 4th edition is becoming available very soon -- is now heavily deployed and has been adopted within products and services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, etc.

          Standardization can be both source for and sink of research activities, i.e., development of efficient algorithms conforming to existing standards or research efforts leading to new standards. One example of such research efforts just recently started at the Institute of Information Technology (ITEC) at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (AAU) as part of the ATHENA (AdapTive Streaming over HTTP and Emerging Networked MultimediA Services) project. The aim of this project is to research and develop novel paradigms, approaches, (prototype) tools and evaluation results for the phases (i) multimedia content provisioning (video coding), (ii) content delivery (video networking), (iii) content consumption (player) in the media delivery chain, and (iv) end-to-end aspects, with a focus on, but not being limited to, HTTP Adaptive Streaming (HAS).

          The SDO behind these standards is MPEG (officially ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11), which has a proven track record of producing very successful standards (not only those mentioned as examples above) and its future is currently discussed within its parent body (SC 29). A possible MPEG future is described here, which suggests upgrading the current SC 29 working groups to sub-committees (SCs), specifically to spin-off a new SC that basically covers MPEG while the remaining WG (JPEG) arises within SC 29. This proposal of MPEG and JPEG as SC is partially motivated by the fact that both WGs work on a large set of standardization projects, actually developed by its subgroups. Thus, elevating both WGs (JPEG & MPEG) to SC level would only reflect the current status quo but would also preserve two important brands for both academia and industry. Further details can be found at http://mpegfuture.org/.

          Tuesday, September 10, 2019

          2019 Global Internet Phenomena Report: more than 60 percent is Video Streaming

          Source: Sandvine, Sep 10, 2019.
          The 2019 Global Internet Phenomena Report has been published on September 10, 2019 and is available here.  I've previously posted about this in 2015, 2018, and Feb 2019 (related to mobile). Thus, it's also interesting to compare this report with what has been posted previously, specifically with respect to the 2018 report...

          The 2019 global report reveals that video streaming now covers more than 60% of the internet traffic (see figure on the right) but only a small increase compared to last year (+2.9). We may question whether the 80% (or more) will be reached by 2022 as predicted by some reports (note: I assume this one here is meant).  The question is whether 4K or 8K will help to make the predictions become reality; we will see pretty soon.

          Interestingly, Netflix' application traffic share decreased by 2.3 percentage points and is now about 12.6% while other HTTP media streaming traffic reached 12.8%. "Operator IPTV" increased to 7.2% with +2.8 compared to last year. For example, in Americas "Operator IPTV" has even a higher downstream application traffic share (15%) than Netflix (12.87%).

          From a European perspective, we see QUIC among the top 10 of "EMEA: Downstream Application Traffic Share" with 3.1% but, unfortunately, the report does not provide further details about what that actually means.

          The "Spotlight: Streaming Video Traffic Share" is shown in the figure below and reveals that both Netflix and YouTube have a higher traffic share in EMEA than Americas and "Operator IPTV" is only mentioned in Americas and not at all in EMEA or APAC.

          Source: Sandvine, Sep 10, 2019.

          As mentioned in the beginning, the full report is available here -- covering also other aspects -- but it confirms that global video traffic share increases but probably with smaller steps than anticipated some years ago.