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A General Framework and Communication Protocol for the Real-Time Transmission of Interactive Media

Author(s): Martin Mauve, Volker Hilt, Christoph Kuhmünch, Wolfgang Effelsberg.
Title: A General Framework and Communication Protocol for the Real-Time Transmission of Interactive Media
Published: Technical Report TR-98-016, Department for Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Mannheim, 1998
Keyword(s): Interactive Media, Real-Time Transmission, Multicast, Recording, Java Animations, VRML
Abstract: In this paper we present a general framework for the real-time transmission ofinteractive media, i.e. media involving user interaction. Examples of interactive media areshared whiteboards, Java animations and VRML worlds. By identifying and supporting thecommon aspects of this media class the framework allows the development of genericservices for network sessions involving the transmission of interactive media. Examples aremechanisms for late join and session recording. The proposed framework is based on theReal-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) which is widely used in the Internet for the real-timetransmission of audio and video. Using the experience gained through the framework foraudio and video, our work consists of three important parts: the definition of a protocolprofile, the instantiation of this profile for specific media, and the development of genericservices. The profile captures those aspects that are common to the class of interactive media.A single medium must instantiate this profile by providing media-specific information in theform of a payload type definition. Based on the profile, generic services can be developed forall interactive media. In this paper we focus on the description of the profile for the real-timetransmission of interactive media. We then present the main ideas behind a generic recordingservice. Finally we show how multi-user VRML and distributed interactive Java animationscan instantiate the profile.
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