Chapter 7

Quality of Experience and Quality of Service

7.1. Introduction

In the past years there have been considerable changes in network communications, particularly in how customers use the network as a means of communication. The wide deployment of broadband Internet access for home users has facilitated the creation of scenarios where home users can communicate using multimedia applications such as voice over IP (VoIP) or videoconferencing. Moreover, the current use of social networks has exploded such multimedia communication scenarios. In addition, new user requirements (e.g. staying plugged to a network anywhere, anytime, and from different devices) have boosted the use of wireless networks, including home Wi-Fi networks. As a consequence, the complexity of network resource management has been augmented.

Both complexity involved in heterogeneous network scenarios (i.e. broadband Internet, wired and Wi-Fi networks) and diversity of user requirements (i.e. being connected and communicating all the time, from different networked devices, etc.), have promoted the emergence of a pervasive and all-interconnected world based on ubiquitous Distributed Multimedia Systems. Indeed, the use of services such as VoIP, mobile video calls, television over IP (IPTV), video on demand (VoD), or videoconferencing systems is becoming more and more common every day.

There have been works [NAH 99] supporting the idea that irrespective of the overprovisioning of network resources, e.g. broadband ...

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