Performance analysis of Thunder Crystal: a crowdsourcing-based video distribution platform

Yipeng Zhou, Liang Chen, Mi Jing, Zhong Ming, Yuedong Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Delivering high-definition (HD) videos to a large number of Internet users is a challenging research problem due to its heavy bandwidth consumption and inelastic quality-of-service (QoS) requirement. Different from the traditional content delivery networks and overlay peer-to-peer networks, crowdsourcing-based platforms, e.g., Thunder Crystal, deliver HD videos by renting agents’ bandwidth and storage resources. Cash will be rewarded to agents based on agents’ upload traffic. Online video providers, i.e., Tencent Video and YouKu, pay Thunder Crystal for its video distribution service. Therefore, a critical problem for Thunder Crystal is to evaluate the performance it can achieve, which determines Thunder Crystal’s competitiveness and its bargaining power with online video providers. Although previously studied proportional video replication and random request scheduling strategy are implemented by Thunder Crystal, the system performance cannot be evaluated by simply using existing models, because of its novel business model. To address this problem, this paper proposes a theoretical framework that can analyze the performance for synchronized streaming, video-on-demand (VoD) streaming, and video downloading, which are all supported by Thunder Crystal. A differentiated bandwidth allocation is designed to boost Thunder Crystal’s streaming performance by assigning downloading users more fluctuating bandwidth, which only slightly degrades downloading performance. Finally, simulation is conducted to validate the accuracy of our theoretical results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1008
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Agent
  • crowdsourcing
  • video downloading
  • video streaming
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Video streaming
  • Video downloading


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