Real-world Video Adaptation with Reinforcement Learning

Abstract

Client-side video players employ adaptive bitrate (ABR) algorithms to optimize user quality of experience (QoE). We evaluate recently proposed RL-based ABR methods in Facebook’s web-based video streaming platform. Real-world ABR contains several challenges that requires customized designs beyond off-the-shelf RL algorithms—we implement a scalable neural network architecture that supports videos with arbitrary bitrate encodings; we design a training method to cope with the variance resulting from the stochasticity in network conditions; and we leverage constrained Bayesian optimization for reward shaping in order to optimize the conflicting QoE objectives. In a week-long worldwide deployment with more than 30 million video streaming sessions, our RL approach outperforms the prior ABR algorithm.

Publication
RL4RealLife 2019 : Reinforcement Learning for Real Life Workshop at ICML 2019
Date