Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

Inferring Streaming Video Quality from Encrypted Traffic: Practical Models and Deployment Experience

Participants: Francesco Bronzino, Sara Ayouibi, Renata Teixeira (MiMove), Paul Schmitt (Princeton), Guilherme Martins, Nick Feamster (University of Chicago)

Inferring the quality of streaming video applications is important for Internet service providers, but the fact that most video streams are encrypted makes it difficult to do so. We develop models that infer quality metrics (i.e., startup delay and resolution) for encrypted streaming video services. Our paper builds on previous work, but extends it in several ways. First, the models work in deployment settings where the video sessions and segments must be identified from a mix of traffic and the time precision of the collected traffic statistics is more coarse (e.g., due to aggregation). Second, we develop a single composite model that works for a range of different services (i.e., Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, and Twitch), as opposed to just a single service. Third, unlike many previous models, our models perform predictions at finer granularity (e.g., the precise startup delay instead of just detecting short versus long delays) allowing to draw better conclusions on the ongoing streaming quality. Fourth, we demonstrate the models are practical through a 16-month deployment in 66 homes and provide new insights about the relationships between Internet "speed" and the quality of the corresponding video streams, for a variety of services; we find that higher speeds provide only minimal improvements to startup delay and resolution. This work was accepted for publication at the ACM SIGMETRICS conference. The models we developed in this work and the findings were the basis for a first-page story published on The Wall Street Journal (“The Truth About Faster Internet: It’s Not Worth It”). (The article is available online at: