Vanderbilt prof says P2P system may best YouTube

Prof. Yi Cui's peer to peer system won NSF award for research on distributed multimedia streaming system.

An assistant professor of computer science and computer engineering at Vanderbuilt University has developed an innovative method to enable peer-to-peer multimedia streaming over the Internet, which one day may compete with YouTube, Vanderbuilt University proclaims.

Professor Yi Cui has won a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research on a centralized multimedia streaming servers which route video and audio signals through a subscriber network which has varying connection speed and processing power. Current Internet streaming services, such as YouTube, rely on centralized, dedicated computer servers. Streaming multimedia data that goes through individual computers results in bottlenecks and slowed or interrupted delivery.

In Cui's peer-to-peer system, subscribers' computers are part of the multimedia streaming service network and can borrow bandwidth from other subscribers. This results in a more efficient electronic traffic flow and allows the industry to save on capital invstment of computer servers and bandwidth subscription.

"The NSF sponsorship will enable us to assess networked computers' ability to transmit multimedia data, based on the customary use of the computer, the inferred bandwidth available to the computers, and a variety of customer usage patterns," Cui said.

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