Adaptive Streaming of 360-Degree Videos With Reinforcement Learning
For bandwidth-efficient streaming of 360-degree videos, the streaming technique must adapt both to the changing viewport of the user and variations of the available network bandwidth. The state-of-the-art streaming techniques for this problem attempt to solve an optimization using simplified rules that do not adapt very well to the uncertainties related to the viewport or network. We adopt a 3D-Convolutional Neural Networks (3DCNN) model to extract spatio-temporal features of videos and predict the viewport. Given the sequential decision-making nature of such streaming technique, we then apply a Reinforcement Learning (RL) based adaptive streaming approach. We address the challenges of using RL in this scenario, such as large action space and delayed reward evaluation. Comprehensive evaluations with real network traces show that the proposed method outperforms three tile-based streaming techniques for 360-degree videos. Compared to the tile-based streaming techniques, the average user-perceived bitrate of the proposed method is 1.3-1.7 times higher and the average quality of experience of the proposed method is also 1.6-3.4 times higher. Subjective user studies further confirm the superiority of the proposed approach.