We consider the problem of optimal H.264 scalable video scheduling, with an objective of maximizing the end-user video quality while ensuring fairness in 3G/4G broadband wireless networks and video sensor networks. We propose a novel framework to characterize the video quality-based utility of the H.264 temporal and quality scalable video layers. Subsequently, we formulate the scalable video scheduling framework as a Markov decision process (MDP) for long-term average video utility maximization and derive the optimal index based-scalable video scheduling policies ISVP and ISVPF towards video quality maximization. Further, we extend this framework to multiuser and multisubchannel scenario of 4G wireless networks. In this context, we propose two novel schemes for long-term streaming video quality performance optimization based on maximum weight bipartite and greedy matching paradigms. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed algorithms achieve superior end-user video experience compared to competing scheduling policies such as Proportional Fairness (PF), Linear Index Policy (LIP), Rate Starvation Age policy (RSA), and Quality Proportional Fair Policy (QPF). 1. Introduction The advent of portable smart devices and broadband enabling wireless technologies such as LTE and WiMAX have led to the availability of a plethora of video applications and services such as video conferencing, multimedia streaming, interactive gaming, and real-time video monitoring in 3G/4G wireless networks. A typical scenario in a 4G network is shown in the Figure 1. Video sensor networks are another paradigm which is gaining popularity due to its application in digital security and online surveillance. This demand for such wireless broadband services is expected to continue to increase in the future with progressive innovations in wireless technologies and devices leading to universal appeal of such services combined with ubiquitous availability of smart phones. Further, video content, which is the key to such popular 3G/4G services, is expected to progressively comprise a dominating fraction of the wireless traffic. However, the erratic wireless environment coupled with the tremendous heterogeneity in the display and decoding capabilities of wireless devices such as smart phones, tablets, and notebooks renders conventional fixed profile video transmission unsuitable in such scenarios. Figure 1: Typical 4G cellular network with heterogeneous users. H.264 based scalable video coding (SVC) has gained significant popularity in the context of video transmission over wireless
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