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HTTP version 3 for unicast delivery of video services over the Internet


   School of Computing & Communications

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  Prof Nicolas Race  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

A fully funded PhD iCASE studentship including fees and enhanced stipend is available in the School of Computing & Communications at Lancaster University. The studentship is supported by British Telecom (BT) and will be jointly supervised by Lancaster University and BT.

Start Date: October 2021 onwards (also with potential to start in Jan, Apr or Oct ’22)

Deadline for applications: 12th December 2021

Interview Date: To be confirmed

Academic Requirements: First-class or 2.1 (Hons) degree, or Masters degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject

HTTP is used for unicast delivery of video services over the Internet. HTTP version 3 is currently in development in the IETF and should provide improvements over HTTP/2 and HTTP/1.1, with the primary difference for video streaming being the use of QUIC rather than TCP for data transport. QUIC provides developers with easier access to the congestion response than TCP, which creates a research challenge to jointly optimise the QUIC congestion response and the ABR algorithm to minimise latency and maximise quality of experience. BT already has a granted patent (A33513) on this subject, but there is large scope for further innovation.

The topics for the PhD could include:

  • Accurately estimating network throughput when receiving content close to the live edge;
  • Understanding viewers’ tolerance to quality variations (where perhaps small variations are more acceptable than we think) and understanding their tolerance to micro-stalls and changes in play-out speed;
  • Developing a model of the variation of network throughput; and
  • Using accurate network throughput estimates, the understanding of viewers’ tolerance to quality issues and the network model to derive solutions to the QUIC congestion response and the ABR algorithm optimisation problem, and to assess their performance.

About You

You will have a 1st or 2:1 (Hons) degree in Computer Science (or related field), or a Masters (or equivalent) in a relevant engineering or scientific discipline or equivalent specialist experience. You need to have a genuine interest, and ideally experience, in computer networking or distributed systems and should be able to demonstrate strong computer programming skills. Evidence of research skills, for example, through a significant Bachelors/Masters project involving experimental research, appropriate use of the literature and a formal dissertation-style report will be considered a plus.

Application Process and Next Steps

General enquiries are welcomed by by Professor Nick Race at [Email Address Removed].


Funding Notes

This PhD studentship covers UK university tuition fees for 4 years, a tax-free enhanced maintenance grant of up to £18,609 per annum and contribution to travel costs to present your research at national and international conferences. Studentships are open to international students, from the EU and overseas, provided they can support the difference between home and overseas fees.
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