Performance characterization of a commercial video streaming service

Mojgan Ghasemi, Partha Kanuparthy, Ahmed Mansy, Theophilus Benson, Jennifer Rexford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations


Despite the growing popularity of video streaming over the Internet, problems such as re-buffering and high startup latency continue to plague users. In this paper, we present an end-To-end characterization of Yahoo's video streaming service, analyzing over 500 million video chunks downloaded over a two-week period. We gain unique visibility into the causes of performance degradation by instrumenting both the CDN server and the client player at the chunk level, while also collecting frequent snapshots of TCP variables from the server network stack. We uncover a range of performance issues, including an asynchronous disk-read timer and cache misses at the server, high latency and latency variability in the network, and buffering delays and dropped frames at the client. Looking across chunks in the same session, or destined to the same IP prefix, we see how some performance problems are relatively persistent, depending on the video's popularity, the distance between the client and server, and the client's operating system, browser, and Flash runtime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIMC 2016 - Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Internet Measurement Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450345262
StatePublished - Nov 14 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event2016 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2016 - Santa Monica, United States
Duration: Nov 14 2016Nov 16 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC


Other2016 ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySanta Monica

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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