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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/J47804/01
Title: FUNCTIONS AND FACILITIES FOR THE SUPPORT OF GROUP APPLICATIONS IN A DISTRIBUTED MULTIMEDIA ENVIRONMENT
Principal Investigator: Hutchison, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Coulson, Professor G Shepherd, Professor D Shepherd, Professor W
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Computing & Communications
Organisation: Lancaster University
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 17 January 1994 Ends: 16 July 1997 Value (£): 129,421
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
To determine appropriate functions and facilities for groups and multicast support in the network, transport and application platform layers.To design and implement a multimedia multicast support infrastructure (possibly based on the XTP transport protocol) in a heterogeneous, networked environment.To modify and re-engineer the existing Lancaster multimedia application platform (which has group support abstractions) using the multicast infrastructure being developed within the project.To evaluate the resulting system in terms of efficiency and flexibility, and to feed the results of the research into standardisation activities concerned with group/ multicast support, specifically OSI and ODP.Progress:The GCommS project (Group Communication Support for Distributed Multimedia Systems) started in January 1994. In the first stage of the project the research has concentrated on group communication requirements and the identifications of services to support group applications. The results of this study can be found in a report entitled From Requirements to Services: A Study on Group Communications Support for Distributed Multimedia Systems . This paper was presented as an expert contribution at the last ISO/IEC JTC1/SC6/WG4 meeting in Tuusula, Finland. Further, a position paper entitled Group Communication and Multicast Taxonomy: Comparison of N8693, AFNOR CN6/GE4 and CIO (4N838) was produced for the same meeting. This paper formed the basis of the position statement of the UK National Body which was published with the same title. The results of our work on group communication requirements and services have also been presented at Multimedia: Advanced Teleservices and High-Speed Communication Architectures; Second International Workshop, IWACA '94 Heidelberg in September 1994 under the title From Requirements to Services: Group Communication Support for Distributed Multimedia Systems . The GCommS project also continues to be involved in the European COST 237 project concerned with multimedia telecommunications services. Within the COST 237 working group on New Transport Service Specification, members of the GCommS group (viz. Geoff Coulson and Andreas Mauthe), together with participants from other European countries, have produced a document entitled COST 237 Multipeer Scenarios . This document is related to the standardisation activities within ISO/IEC JTC1/SC6 WG4. Recent work on multipeer QoS with the title QoS Support for Video & Audio Multipeer Communications has been submitted to the upcoming ISO/IEC JTC1/SC6/WG4 plenary meeting in Japan. Continuous contributions to standardisation in group communication are made as comments on the respective documents over the UK National Body. The project is currently concentrating on two main technical areas: communication support and group management. The roles and tasks of both these areas and their inter-relationships have now been defined and their location in the system architecture is currently being considered. The main work items ongoing at the moment are the development of group communication services, the design of a group communication architecture and the planning of a suitable infrastructure for implementation work. In addition, work on group management is currently being pursued by a Ph.D. student affiliated to the project. In terms of communications, XTP is being evaluated as a base transport protocol to support group communication. A visiting researcher from Germany will investigate XTP (actually a derivative called XTPX) and its suitability to support multimedia group communications from April until September this year.
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Organisation Website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk