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The authors investigate the video assignment problem of a hierarchical Video-On-Demand (VOD) system in heterogeneous environments where different quality levels of videos can be encoded using either replication or layering. In such systems, videos are delivered to clients either through a proxy server or video broadcast/unicast channels. The objective of the paper is to determine the appropriate coding strategy as well as the suitable delivery mechanism for a specific quality level of a video such that the overall system blocking probability is minimized. In order to find a near-optimal solution for such a complex video assignment problem, an evolutionary approach based on Genetic Algorithm (GA) is proposed.
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