Resonance: Replacing Software Constants with Context-Aware Models in Real-time Communication

Jayant Gupchup, Ashkan Aazami, Yaran Fan, Senja Filipi, Tom Finley, Scott Inglis, Marcus Asteborg, Luke Caroll, Rajan Chari, Markus Cozowicz, Vishak Gopal, Vinod Prakash, Sasikanth Bendapudi, Jack Gerrits, Eric Lau, Huazhou Liu, Marco Rossi, Dima Slobodianyk, Dmitri Birjukov, Matty Cooper, Nilesh Javar, Dmitriy Perednya, Sriram Srinivasan, John Langford, Ross Cutler, Johannes Gehrke

Large software systems tune hundreds of 'constants' to optimize their runtime performance. These values are commonly derived through intuition, lab tests, or A/B tests. A 'one-size-fits-all' approach is often sub-optimal as the best value depends on runtime context. In this paper, we provide an experimental approach to replace constants with learned contextual functions for Skype - a widely used real-time communication (RTC) application. We present Resonance, a system based on contextual bandits (CB). We describe experiences from three real-world experiments: applying it to the audio, video, and transport components in Skype. We surface a unique and practical challenge of performing machine learning (ML) inference in large software systems written using encapsulation principles. Finally, we open-source FeatureBroker, a library to reduce the friction in adopting ML models in such development environments

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