With rapid developments in network design paradigms, content delivery platforms, cloud-based infrastructures, media compression techniques, and end-user device technologies, the field of multimedia communications is highly dynamic and constantly evolving. While the era of video streaming services is well established, emerging interactive and immersive services are expected to gain market share, with example scenarios involving 360-degree video streaming and communication services based on augmented and virtual reality. In that context, 5G multimedia standardization efforts are ongoing and paving the way towards new service delivery opportunities. Further, developments in the context of Web-based real-time communications are expected to foster widespread use of multiparty audiovisual conversational services.
The adoption of new applications and services clearly has a profound impact on the way people communicate, learn, or entertain. What remains a key concern and differentiator between providers will be meeting the end users’ requirements in terms of service quality and expectations, commonly referred to as the user’s Quality of Experience (QoE). From a business perspective, both attracting new customers and avoiding customer churn is of critical importance. Understanding the way in which people consume various types of multimedia applications and services, and how people’s experiences and quality judgements are formed is critical in the process of service design and deployment. This calls for a user-centric perspective, and the need to model the complex relationships between underlying QoE influence factors (related to the system, context, and human), and various dimensions of the user’s QoE (for details see the Qualinet White Paper on definitions of QoE).
The effective and cost-efficient design and management of applications and networks inherently puts end users into focus. Within the scope of the MUEXLab, we aim to address various emerging challenges related to modeling, measuring, and managing the quality of the end user experience.