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Many commercial video players rely on bitrate adaptation logic to adapt the bitrate in response to changing network conditions. Past measurement studies have identified issues with today's commercial players with respect to three key metrics - efficiency, fairness, and stability - when multiple bitrate-adaptive players share a bottleneck link. Unfortunately, the authors' current understanding of why these effects occur and how they can be mitigated is quite limited. In this paper, they present a principled understanding of bitrate adaptation and analyze several commercial players through the lens of an abstract player model. Through this framework, they identify the root causes of several undesirable interactions that arise as a consequence of overlaying the video bitrate adaptation over HTTP.
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