Controlling Multimedia QoS in the Future Home Network Using the PSQA Metric


Over the last few years, the growth of the Internet has spawned a whole new generation of networked applications, such as VoIP, videoconferencing, video on demand, music streaming, etc. which have very specific, and stringent, requirements in terms of network QoS. The current Internet infrastructure was not designed with these types of applications in mind, so traditionally, the quality of such services has not been optimal. Moreover, it can be said that most of the QoS–related problems are currently found in the access networks, and not in the core or in the local area networks (LANs). The recent explosion in the number of homes with broad- band connections, coupled with the development of wireless technologies such as IEEE 802.11, and new services being currently marketed might soon change that situation. As more and more devices are networked, we may see a new bottleneck, namely the wireless LAN (WLAN). The most widely deployed wireless technologies for home networks are currently IEEE 802.11b and 802.11g, which provide nominal top bandwidths of 11 and 54Mbps respectively. To a lesser extent, there are also Bluetooth connected devices, which can work at about 2Mbps in good conditions. In practice, the best throughputs normally observed in wi–fi networks range from 4–5Mbps for 802.11b to 20-25Mbps for 802.11g. Besides, the network performance varies depending on the topology of the network, environmental parameters, and interference from other equipment. These performances are low, and particularly unstable when compared to Ethernet LANs, but the lack of cabling makes wireless networking an attractive option for home use nonetheless. In this paper we propose a PSQA-driven mechanism to prioritize real-time traffic over background traffic, using PSQA to determine when the prioritization should be performed.

The Computer Journal 49(2):137-155