One paper accepted by ACM NOSSDAV'23!

Written by  |  05/04/2023 - 10/45

Congrats to Yueheng, Qianyuan, Zicheng!

Title: Improving ABR Performance for Short Video Streaming Using Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning with Expert Guidance

Abstract: In the realm of short video streaming, popular adaptive bitrate (ABR) algorithms developed for classical long video applications suffer from catastrophic failures because they are tuned to solely adapt bitrates. Instead, short video adaptive bitrate (SABR) algorithms have to properly determine {\it which video} at {which bitrate level} together for content prefetching, without sacrificing the users' quality of experience (QoE) and yielding noticeable bandwidth wastage jointly. Unfortunately, existing SABR methods are inevitably entangled with slow convergence and poor generalization. Thus, in this paper, we propose Incendio, a novel SABR framework that applies Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning (MARL) with Expert Guidance to separate the decision of video ID and video bitrate in respective buffer management and bitrate adaptation agents to maximize the system-level utilized score modeled as a compound function of QoE and bandwidth wastage metrics. To train Incendio, it is first initialized by imitating the hand-crafted expert rules and then fine-tuned through the use of MARL. Results from extensive experiments indicate that Incendio outperforms the current state-of-the-art SABR algorithm with a 53.2% improvement measured by the utility score while maintaining low training complexity and inference time.