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Advances in Multimedia
Volume 2008 (2008), Article ID 543674, 10 pages
Research Article

A Theoretical Framework for Quality-Aware Cross-Layer Optimized Wireless Multimedia Communications

1Department of Computer and Electronics Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NE 68182, USA
2Marvell Semiconductors, Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA

Received 20 May 2007; Revised 5 September 2007; Accepted 5 November 2007

Academic Editor: Jianwei Huang

Copyright © 2008 Song Ci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although cross-layer has been thought as one of the most effective and efficient ways for multimedia communications over wireless networks and a plethora of research has been done in this area, there is still lacking of a rigorous mathematical model to gain in-depth understanding of cross-layer design tradeoffs, spanning from application layer to physical layer. As a result, many existing cross-layer designs enhance the performance of certain layers at the price of either introducing side effects to the overall system performance or violating the syntax and semantics of the layered network architecture. Therefore, lacking of a rigorous theoretical study makes existing cross-layer designs rely on heuristic approaches which are unable to guarantee sound results efficiently and consistently. In this paper, we attempt to fill this gap and develop a new methodological foundation for cross-layer design in wireless multimedia communications. We first introduce a delay-distortion-driven cross-layer optimization framework which can be solved as a large-scale dynamic programming problem. Then, we present new approximate dynamic programming based on significance measure and sensitivity analysis for high-dimensional nonlinear cross-layer optimization in support of real-time multimedia applications. The major contribution of this paper is to present the first rigorous theoretical modeling for integrated cross-layer control and optimization in wireless multimedia communications, providing design insights into multimedia communications over current wireless networks and throwing light on design optimization of the next-generation wireless multimedia systems and networks.