A Unified Framework for Flexible Playback Latency Control in Live Video Streaming

Guanghui Zhang, Jack Y.B. Lee, Ke Liu, Haibo Hu, Vaneet Aggarwal

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Live video streaming has seen tremendous growth in the past decade. An important fact in live streaming is that the demand for low playback-latency inherently conflicts with the desire for high QoE. This requires different types of live services to seek different latency-QoE tradeoffs according to their service-requirements. However, our investigations revealed that it is fundamentally difficult for existing streaming algorithms to keep consistent latency in changing network conditions, let alone achieve the service-desired latency-QoE tradeoff. To tackle the challenge, this article develops a novel framework called Flexible Latency Aware Streaming (FLAS) that not only can achieve consistent low latency, but also control the latency-QoE tradeoff flexibly. Specifically, FLAS generates a set of adaptation logics offline, each optimized for a candidate tradeoff point, then selects the most appropriate one to run online. We first show how FLAS can be applied to optimizing the existing algorithms, then developed a novel Genetic Programming approach to fully exploit FLAS's potential. Extensive evaluations show that FLAS can precisely control latency all the way down to 1s and achieve substantially higher QoE than state-of-the-arts. FLAS can be readily implemented into real streaming platforms, offering a practical and reliable solution for live-streaming services.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9439873
Pages (from-to)3024-3037
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • genetic programming
  • quality-of-experience
  • video reliability
  • Video streaming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

Cite this