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YouTube Traffic Characterization: A View From the Edge

Gill, Phillipa, Arlitt, Martin; Li, Zongpeng; Mahanti, Anirban

HPL-2007-119

Keyword(s): traffic characterization; YouTube; Web 2.0; caching

Abstract: This paper presents a traffic characterization study of the popular video sharing service, YouTube. Over a three month period we observed almost 25 million transactions between users on an edge network and YouTube, including more than 600,000 video downloads. We also monitored the globally popular videos over this period of time. In the paper we examine usage patterns, file properties, popularity and referencing characteristics, and transfer behaviors, and compare them to traditional Web and media streaming workload characteristics. We also analyze social networking (Web 2.0) aspects of YouTube. We conclude the paper with a discussion of the implications of the observed characteristics. For example, we find that as with the traditional Web, caching could improve the end user experience, reduce network bandwidth consumption, and reduce the load on YouTube's core server infrastructure. Unlike traditional Web caching, Web 2.0 provides additional metadata that should be exploited to improve the effectiveness of strategies like caching. Publication info: Copyright ACM. To be presented and published at ACM SIGCOMM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC'07.

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