A control theoretic approach to ABR video streaming: A fresh look at PID-Based rate adaptation

Yanyuan Qin, Ruofan Jin, Shuai Hao, Krishna R. Pattipati, Feng Qian, Subhabrata Sen, Chaoqun Yue, Bing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Adaptive bitrate streaming (ABR) has become the de facto technique for video streaming over the Internet. Despite a flurry of techniques, achieving high quality ABR streaming over cellular networks remains a tremendous challenge. ABR streaming can be naturally modeled as a control problem. There has been some initial work on using PID, a widely used feedback control technique, for ABR streaming. Existing studies, however, either use PID control directly without fully considering the special requirements of ABR streaming, leading to suboptimal results, or conclude that PID is not a suitable approach. In this paper, we take a fresh look at PID-based control for ABR streaming. We design a framework called PIA (PID-control based ABR streaming) that strategically leverages PID control concepts and incorporates several novel strategies to account for the various requirements of ABR streaming. We evaluate PIA using simulation based on real LTE network traces, as well as using real DASH implementation. The results demonstrate that PIA outperforms state-of-the-art schemes in providing high average bitrate with significantly lower bitrate changes (reduction up to 40 percent) and stalls (reduction up to 85 percent), while incurring very small runtime overhead. We further design PIA-E (PIA Enhanced), which improves the performance of PIA in the important initial playback phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8765424
Pages (from-to)2505-2519
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

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  • Adaptive video streaming
  • DASH
  • PID control
  • control theory


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