SMDP: Minimizing buffer requirements for continuous media servers

Youjip Won, Jaideep Srivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Excessive buffer requirement to handle continuous-media playbacks is an impediment to cost-effective provisioning for on-line video retrieval. Given the skewed distribution of video popularity, it is expected that often there are concurrent playbacks of the same video file within a short time interval. This creates an opportunity to batch multiple requests and to service them with a single stream from the disk without violating the on-demand constraint. However, there is a need to keep data in memory between successive uses to do this. This leads to a buffer space trade-off between servicing a request in memory mode vs. servicing it in disk-mode. In this work, we develop a novel algorithm to minimize the buffer requirement to support a set of concurrent playbacks. One of the beauties of the proposed scheme is that it enables the server to dynamically adapt to the changing workload while minimizing the total buffer space requirement. Our algorithm makes a significant contribution in decreasing the total buffer requirement, especially when the user access pattern is biased in favor of a small set of files. The idea of the proposed scheme is modeled in detail using an analytical formulation, and optimality of the algorithm is proved. An analytical framework is developed so that the proposed scheme can be used in combination with various existing disk-scheduling strategies. Our simulation results confirm that under certain circumstances, it is much more resource efficient to support some of the playbacks in memory mode and subsequently the proposed scheme enables the server to minimize the overall buffer space requirement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
JournalMultimedia Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Buffer management
  • Data retrieval
  • Disk scheduling
  • Multimedia
  • Synchronization


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