Supporting random access on real-time retrieval of digital continuous media

Jonathan CL Liu, David H Du, James A. Schnepf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In addition to the large data size requirement and real-time constraint in continuous media, future video applications such as video editing demand a random access capability at the video-frame level. This paper introduces our study on effective buffering control for the real-time retrieval of jitter-free digital video medium. We adopt a video-frame level approach to maintaining the flexibility on placement and analysing the efficiency of the buffering schemes. An integrated solution which offers efficient buffering schemes and flexible storage placement to support random access is our goal. We present two buffering schemes: the two-buffer scheme and the k-buffer compensation scheme. The two-buffer scheme requires that all the frames in a block are stored consecutively, while providing random access between blocks. However, this intuitive buffering scheme potentially requires a large block size and buffer space. The k-buffer compensation scheme is proposed to resolve this large buffer space requirement, by using more than two buffers and requiring a minimal number of blocks randomly placed in each cylinder. This scheme differs from the contiguous placement scheme because individual blocks can be stored anywhere in each cylinder. Compared to the two-buffer scheme, the k-buffer compensation scheme requires less buffer space, has higher disk utilization and finer granularity on disk data transfer. The placement requirements are more flexible and implementable than the contiguous and storage pattern placement schemes. Experimental measurement results reveal the significant improvements on the buffer-size reduction and placement flexibility by using the k-buffer compensation scheme. Extensions of the k-buffer compensation scheme to support multiple streams are also addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-159
Number of pages15
JournalComputer Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1995


  • buffering scheme
  • disk placement
  • multimedia


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