Qualinet White Paper on Definitions of Quality of Experience


This White Paper is a contribution of the European Network on Quality of Experience in Multimedia Systems and Services, Qualinet (COST Action IC 1003, see www.qualinet.eu), to the scientific discussion about the term "Quality of Experience" (QoE) and its underlying concepts. It resulted from the need to agree on a working definition for this term which facilitates the communication of ideas within a multidisciplinary group, where a joint interest around multimedia communication systems exists, however approached from different perspectives. Thus, the concepts and ideas cited in this paper mainly refer to the Quality of Experience of multimedia communication systems, but may be helpful also for other areas where QoE is an issue. The Network of Excellence (NoE) Qualinet aims at extending the notion of network-centric Quality of Service (QoS) in multimedia systems, by relying on the concept of Quality of Experience (QoE). The main scientific objective is the development of methodologies for subjective and objective quality metrics taking into account current and new trends in multimedia communication systems as witnessed by the appearance of new types of content and interactions. A substantial scientific impact on fragmented efforts carried out in this field will be achieved by coordinating the research of European experts under the catalytic COST umbrella. The White Paper has been compiled on the basis of a first open call for ideas which was launched for the February 2012 Qualinet Meeting held in Prague, Czech Republic. The ideas were presented as short statements during that meeting, reflecting the ideas of the persons listed under the headline "Contributors" in the previous section. During the Prague meeting, the ideas have been further discussed and consolidated in the form of a general structure of the present document. An open call for authors was issued at that meeting, to which the persons listed as "Authors" in the previous section have announced their willingness to contribute in the preparation of individual sections. For each section, a coordinating author has been assigned which coordinated the writing of that section, and which is underlined in the author list preceding each section. The individual sections were then integrated and aligned by an editing group (listed as "Editors" in the previous section), and the entire document was iterated with the entire group of authors. Furthermore, the draft text was discussed with the participants of the Dagstuhl Seminar 12181 "Quality of Experience: From User Perception to Instrumental Metrics" which was held in Schloß Dagstuhl, Germany, May 1-4 2012, and a number of changes were proposed, resulting in the present document. As a result of the writing process and the large number of contributors, authors and editors, the document will not reflect the opinion of each individual person at all points. Still, we hope that it is found to be useful for everybody working in the field of Quality of Experience of multimedia communication systems, and most probably also beyond that field.