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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/J16541/01
Principal Investigator: Blair, Professor G
Other Investigators:
Shepherd, Professor W Coulson, Professor G Shepherd, Professor D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Computing & Communications
Organisation: Lancaster University
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 May 1993 Ends: 30 April 1995 Value (£): 62,075
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The overall aim of the research is to support the end-to-end handling of continuous media in an open distributed environment. More specifically, the programme of research has the following key objectives:1. To develop an enhanced engineering model providing the necessary real-time support for multimedia in an ODP environment.2. To implement the engineering model in a distributed micro-kernel architecture.3. To feed the results of the research into ODP standardisation activities.Progress:A novel approach has been developed to the handling of continuous media in a distributed environment. This approach provides end-to-end management of quality of service through the integration of scheduling and communications. The approach is also based on the following key principles: i) the adoption of the micro-kernel approach to systems structuring,ii) split-level resource management between user and kernel spaces,iii) an upcall driven application interface, andv) a decoupling of control and data transfer. A prototype system platform, based on the Chorus micro-kernel, has been designed and partially implemented. A split-level scheduling discipline has been developed for Chorus; this approach ensures that threads dealing with incoming continuous media data can be scheduled according to their required deadline. A lightweight rate-based transport protocol has also been designed,enabling isochronous communication between producers and consumers of continuous media data. A key feature of the research is the integration between communications and scheduling. Details of this can be found in the references given below. An important collaboration has been formed with CNET, France Telecom. This collaboration has resulted in proposed extensions to the ISO Open Distributed Processing draft standard to accommodate multimedia. In particular, a computational model (programming model) and associated engineering approach have been described. Many of the ideas from this work are now contained in the ODP draft standards. Finally, work has been carried out to develop an approach for quality of service management in an ATM environment, including quality of service specification, negotiation, admission control and resource reservation strategies. This work supports a variety of classes of service from best-effort to guaranteed isochronous communications. This work can be viewed as a (partial)realisation of the quality of service architecture (QoS-A) being developed at Lancaster. Selected BibliographyCoulson G., Blair G.S., Robin P., Micro-Kernel Support for Continuous Media in Distributed Systems ,Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, Vol. 26, pp 2323-1341, 1994. Coulson G., Blair G.S., Horn F., Hazard L., Stefani J.B., Supporting the Real-Time Requirements of Continuous Media in Open Distributed Processing ,To appear in Computer Networks and ISDN Systems (Special Issue on Open Distributed Processing), 1995. Robin P., Coulson G., Campbell A., Blair G.S., Papathomas P., Hutchison D., On The Implementation of a QoS Controlled ATM Based Communications System in Chorus ,To appear in the IEEE Journal of Selected Areas in Communications (JSAC), Special Issue on ATM LANs Implementation and Experience, 1995.
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