Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

World-Models for Bitrate Streaming

Version 1 : Received: 18 August 2020 / Approved: 20 August 2020 / Online: 20 August 2020 (07:02:57 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Brown, H.; Fricke, K.; Yoneki, E. World-Models for Bitrate Streaming. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 6685. Brown, H.; Fricke, K.; Yoneki, E. World-Models for Bitrate Streaming. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 6685.


Adaptive bitrate (ABR) algorithms optimize the quality of streaming experiences for users in client-side video players especially in unreliable or slow mobile networks. Several rule-based heuristic algorithms can achieve stable performance, but they sometimes fail to adapt properly to changing network conditions. Fluctuating bandwidth may cause algorithms to default to behavior that creates a negative experience for the user. ABR algorithms can be generated with reinforcement learning, a decision-making paradigm in which an agent learns to make optimal choices through interactions with an environment. Training reinforcement learning algorithms for bitrate streaming requires building a simulator for an agent to experience interactions quickly; training an agent in the real environment is infeasible due to the long step times in real environments. This project explores using supervised learning to construct a world-model, or a learned simulator, from recorded interactions. A reinforcement learning agent trained inside of the learned model, rather than a simulator, can outperform rule-based heuristics. Furthermore, agents trained inside the learned world-model can outperform model-free agents in low sample regimes. This work highlights the potential for world-models to quickly learn simulators, and to be used to generate optimal policies.


reinforcement learning; bitrate streaming; world-models; video streaming; model-based reinforcement learning


Computer Science and Mathematics, Computer Science

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