Special Issue for IEEE MultiMedia Magazine

I am co-guest editing this special issue. You are invited to submit your research work. Please do not hesitate to contact me if there are questions.


Special Issue for IEEE MultiMedia

Advancing Multimedia Distribution with SDN/NFV-based Systems

Submission deadline: September 1, 2016
Publication: July-September, 2017


Recently, software-enabled appliances that support network virtualization have seen wide adoption by data centers and service providers. The main advantage of Software Defined Networking (SDN) is that the control plane is separated from the data plane, thereby allowing for network visibility, dynamic resource provisioning, and flexible service deployments. Complementary to SDN, Network Function Virtualization (NFV) focuses on virtualization of software-based network node functions, such as firewalls and intrusion detection. The increased agility and flexibility in the SDN/NFV-based network infrastructure opens up endless possibilities for multimedia content delivery and distribution. For example, virtual content delivery nodes can be dynamically deployed at the edge of the network in an on-demand fashion, potentially reducing energy costs and improving user satisfaction. This special issue aims to showcase and disseminate original research works that explore how multimedia content distribution can be supported and enhanced over SDN/NFV-based networks. Topics of interest for this special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • SDN/NFV-related architectures for next generation multimedia networks and services
  • Dynamic resource provisioning and management for SDN/NFV-based multimedia systems
  • QoE assessment for multimedia delivery over SDN/NFV-based multimedia systems
  • QoE management with dynamic policy deployments over SDN/NFV-enabled networks
  • Algorithms for live analysis and monitoring of audiovisual streaming quality in that correlates with network events in SDN or NFV-based multimedia systems
  • Real-time video adaptation algorithms over SDN/NFV-enabled networks
  • HTTP-based adaptive video streaming over SDN/NFV-enabled networks
  • Interactions between SDN/NFV architectures with content delivery networks (CDNs)
  • Applicability of SDN/NFV in mobile networks for multimedia provision
  • Integration of SDN/NFV-enabled mobile and fixed networks for multimedia services
  • Composition and deployment of Service Function Chains (SFCs) of video and/or VoIP services

Submission Guidelines

See https://www.computer.org/web/peer-review/magazines for general author guidelines. Submissions should not exceed 6,500 words, including all text, the abstract, keywords, bibliography, biographies, and table text. Each table and figure counts for 200 words.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/mm-cs), selecting this special issue option.


Guest editors

Xiaoqing Zhu, Cisco Systems Inc., USA

Harilaos Koumaras, NCSR Demokritos, Greece

Mea Wang, University of Calgary, Canada

David Hausheer, Technische Universitaet Darmstadt, Germany


Cisco Thor: a Royalty Free Video Codec

Jonathan Rosenberg recently posted on Cisco Blog for the release of the project Thor codec to the community some weeks ago (link to Thor project). The effort is being staffed by some of the world’s most foremost codec experts, including the legendary Gisle Bjøntegaard and Arild Fuldseth, both of whom have been heavy contributors to prior video codecs. Cisco decided to open source the code, which is available on http://thor-codec.org. Moreover, Thor was contributed as an input to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) (contribution available here, Presentation slides available here), which has begun a standards activity to develop a next-gen royalty free video codec in its NetVC workgroup.

More documents on IETF NetVC are available also here.

As Jonathan describes, the patent licensing situation for H.265 is dependent on two distinct patent licensing pools that have formed so far, and unfortunately many license holders are not represented in either. On the contrary, for the case of H.264 there is only one license pool, which make H.264 much cheaper than H.265, where the total costs to license H.265 from these two pools is up to sixteen times more expensive than H.264, per unit. Moreover, H.264 had an upper bound on yearly licensing costs, whereas H.265 has no such upper limit, while at the same time the licensing terms preclude usage of H.265 in any kind of open source or freely distributed software application, such as web browsers.

Jonathan invites others to work on Thor by contributing to the codec development or contributing their own Intellectual Property Rights on a royalty free basis (you may contact  netvc-inquiry@cisco.com).

Although activity graphs from github are not really encouraging for the community involvement (see figure below) and that there are many basic features that are not implemented yet, the project progress may be ambitious within 2015, however the project is still promising.


The main Thor-exclusive feature is the 64×64 super block, which provide significant better performance for specific video content types according to the provided performance comparison data (available here).

Summarizing, we may say that currently Thor is a parallel draft to Daala. Daala is the code-name for a new video compression technology promoted by a collaboration between Mozilla Foundation, Xiph.Org Foundation and other contributors. The goal of Daala is to provide a free to implement, use and distribute digital media format and reference implementation with technical performance superior to H.265. IETF may standarddize only one codec within the NetVC activity, therefore the competition for the one codec to prevail will be very tough. Initial comparison to Daala is available (here) but it will be interesting to close monitor the performance competition between the two codecs in the next months.

QoEMCS at EuroITV 2012

In the framework of the EuroITV 2012 (July 4 2012 @Berlin, Germany) the workshop of QoE for Multimedia Sharing will take place in parallel. The workshop is supported by Qualinet Cost action and I participate also in the Technical Program Committee (TPC). I believe that it is quite interesting to be supported by the QoE-related colleagues.

Conference Objective

Multimedia applications are becoming more and more part of our everyday life. With the fast development of social networks and exchange platforms, users interact with each other through multimedia content, from different places, using different platforms. In order to make these applications available and successful, all the elements involved in the chain between multimedia content production and consumption have to work together with one goal in mind : maximising the Quality of Experience on the user’s side. This global issue requires taking into account a high variability of devices, networks, users and consumption scenarios, while addressing technological constraints related to the available resources in terms of network capacities, computation power and storage. In order to gain more knowledge on the provision and assessment of Quality of User Experience, new parameters have to be considered, such as from the psychophysical and environmental context. These efforts are further justified by the emergence of new multimedia concepts and applications, such as 3DTV, Free Viewpoint TV and Mobile TV, which include complex interactions with the users and with their environment. The QoEMCS workshop has been part of the last two editions of EuroITV. The third edition will once again focus on QoE and multimedia interactions, centered around the evaluation and optimization of interactions between users across different places and platforms.

Organising Committee
  • Yohann Pitrey, University of Vienna (AUT),
  • Shelley Buchinger, University of Vienna (AUT),
  • Rui Jorge Lopes, Instituto de Telecomunicações and ISCTE – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (POR)
  • Satu Jumisko-Pyykkö, Tampere University of Technology (FIN)
  • Hans-Jürgen Zepernick, Blekinge Institute of Technology (SWE)
Technical Program Committee
  • Manora Caldera, Curtin University of Technology (AUS),
  • Touradj Ebrahimi, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (CH),
  • Markus Fiedler, Blekinge Institute of Technology (SWE),
  • Helmut Hlavacs, University of Vienna (AUT),
  • Harilaos Koumaras, NCSR Demokritos (GR),
  • Maulana Kusuma, Gunadarma University (ID),
  • Hendrik Knoche, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (CH),
  • Patrick Le Callet, Université de Nantes (FR),
  • Andreas Mauthe, Lancaster University (UK),
  • Maria Paula Queluz, Instituto de Telecomunicações and IST (POR),
  • Bijan Rohani, Phybit, (SG),
  • Burkhard Stiller, Universität Zürich (CH),
  • Nitin Suresh, Georgia Institute of Technology (USA),
  • Junyong You, NTNU (NO)
Important Dates
  • April 20 2012 : Paper Submission

  • May 15 2012 : Notification of Acceptance

  • June 15 2012 : Camera-ready Version

  • July 4 2012 : Workshop at EuroITV in Berlin