CS 638: Multimedia Networking and Operating Systems

Spring 2022

Overview and Objectives:

This course explores the latest developments and open research problems in multimedia networking and operating systems, with several example case studies such as YouTube, Netflix, and Zoom.

The topics to be covered (tentatively) include:

  1. Multimedia applications, such as video streaming, video conferencing, and virtual reality, their requirements, and user quality of experience
  2. Multimedia formats and compression, e.g., H.264, AAC
  3. Multimedia network traffic characteristics and traffic engineering, and protocols to transport multimedia traffic and control congestion, e.g., QUIC, DASH, RTP
  4. Content distribution networks and edge clouds, e.g., Akamai, Cloudflare, Fastly
  5. End system resource management, e.g., real-time CPU scheduling
  6. Multimedia over WiFi and cellular networks (4G LTE, 5G)

Upon completion of this course, students will grasp key multimedia networking and operating systems concepts, requirements, and challenges, and several current and recently proposed solutions.


TTh 4:30--5:45 PM




Sonia Fahmy, office: LWSN 2142H, e-mail: last name @purdue.edu
Please e-mail me if you wish to meet online or in-person to set up an appointment.


CS 503 or CS 536 or consent of the instructor




Please review the policies page maintained by Professor Gene Spafford for information about course policies.


We will cover some material from the following books, but they are not required, i.e., your class notes will suffice:

We will also discuss a few important or recent papers on multimedia in top networking and operating systems conferences, journals, and magazines.

Each student will lead the discussion of one of the assigned papers. The presentation should discuss the main ideas of the paper, in addition to pointing out their significance, applications, limitations, and relationship to other work.

Since one of the aims of this course is to learn to critique research papers, students will complete a review of assigned papers (review form will be provided) before their discussion. This means that students should read these assigned papers critically and carefully, paying special attention to the novelty, potential applications, and possible flaws.

Tentative Grading Plan:

Homeworks and paper reviews 35%
Paper presentation 15%
Project plan and updates 10%
Project report 25%
Project presentation 10%
Class participation 5%

Tentative Schedule:

Date Topic/Reading(s) Due
Jan. 11 Course overview; Examples (Netflix; Google Networking)
Jan. 13 Multimedia units and streams, real-time systems, Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS)
Jan. 18 Review of key operating systems and networking concepts
Jan. 20 Review of key operating systems and networking concepts (cont'd)
TCP throughput; Fairness index; Fairness/efficiency
Jan. 25 Voice, video, and real-time protocols
A. Durresi and R. Jain, RTP, RTCP, and RTSP.
Henning Schulzrinne and Jonathan Rosenberg, Internet Telephony: Architecture and Protocols-- An IETF Perspective, Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, vol 31, no 3, pp. 237-255, February 1999.
Jan. 27 Voice, video, and real-time protocols (cont'd)
Homework 1 due February 3rd, 2022
Project plan due February 10th, 2022
Final project report due May 2nd, 2022