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Distributed Interactive Media

Author(s): Martin Mauve.
Title: Distributed Interactive Media
Published: PhD thesis, University of Mannheim, September 2000
Keyword(s): Distributed Interactive Media, Multimedia Transport Protocols, Shared Whiteboard Systems, Networked Computer Games, Generic Services, 3D Telecooperation
Abstract: In this thesis distributed interactive media are shown to form a classof media that share many important attributes. The key characteristicof media belonging to this class is that they are distributed mediawhich involve direct user interactions with the medium itself.Typical examples of distributed interactive media are sharedwhiteboards, networked computer games, and distributed virtualenvironments. In order to prove that the idea of a common media classis valid, an abstract media model for the distributed interactivemedia class is given. Furthermore, existing distributed interactivemedia are investigated and it is shown that these are covered by themedia model. With the definition of a distributed interactive mediaclass it becomes feasible to create a common foundation for thedevelopment of shared functionality that is usable by many - or all -media belonging to this media class. The development of an applicationlevel protocol as such a foundation for common functionalityconstitutes the key contribution of this thesis. The application levelprotocol is called "Real-Time Application Level Protocol forDistributed Interactive Media" (RTP/I). It was inspired by the "RealTime Transport Protocol" (RTP), which is commonly used for thetransmission of audio and video over the Internet. The designdecisions and the specification of RTP/I are discussed in detail. Inorder to show that RTP/I can indeed serve as a common foundation forshared functionality, three generic and reusable services arepresented: a consistency service, a service which supports latecomerswho wish to join an ongoing session, and a recording service fordistributed interactive media. Moreover, it is discussed how the mediamodel, RTP/I, and the generic services have been used to develop acomplex real world application for a distributed interactivemedium. This application is known as TeCo3D (3D TeleCooperation). Itallows a distributed group of users to view and interact with dynamic3D models that are specified using the Virtual Reality ModelingLanguage.
Note: This thesis has been published as a book (M. Mauve. Distributed InteractiveMedia. ISBN 3-89838-471-3. infix. Berlin. 2000) and is copyrighted byinfix ( The online version is available for free downloadwith the permission of infix. If you like this work I would like to askthat you order a hardcopy from infix (it can be ordered online).
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