ERCIM News No.26 - July 1996 - GMD
IDMS'96 - European Workshop on Interactive Distributed Multimedia Systems
by Eckhard Moeller
The European Workshop on Interactive Distributed Multimedia Systems
and Services (IDMS'96) was held at the Japanese-German Centre in Berlin
from 4-6 March 1996. The workshop was organised by the Communications and
Distributed Systems (KuVS) section of the German Gesellschaft für Informatik
(GI) and the Informationstechnische Gesell-schaft im VDE (ITG), together
with the Research Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) of GMD.
Major support was also provided by DeTeBerkom, ERCIM and Siemens. Berthold
Butscher (chair of the KuVS section) and Eckhard Moeller (GMD FOKUS) served
as workshop chairmen. The organisation in Berlin was handled by Herwart
Pusch (GMD FOKUS). The workshop's goal was to address new developments in
respect to interactive, distributed multimedia systems and services in the
business and entertainment domains and to highlight common develop-ments
in the two domains.
The 126 workshop participants from the research, development and application
fields, represented twelve European countries in addition to Australia,
Canada, Korea, Japan and the USA. Three invited talks and twenty reviewed
papers covered a variety of fields including multimedia services on demand,
multimedia conferencing, multimedia networking and transport, continuous
media as well as support for the development of distributed multimedia applications.
The field of continuous media was best represented. In this field papers
were presented on scheduling mechanisms in multimedia systems, control of
video streams in video-on-demand services, synchro-nisation of continuous
streams, and adaptive filters for audio/video streams in multipeer communication
to bridge the heterogeneity gap in networks and end systems. Other contributions
discussed system architectures and standardisation for the support of interactive
multimedia applications, extensions of multimedia services in the Internet
to support mobility, information filtering in radio and TV programmes via
speech recognition, etc.
The workshop was kicked-off each day by an invited talk: David Greaves,
who substituted for Andy Hopper of Olivetti Research and Cambridge University,
presented a paper, 'The Network Computer - Fact or Fiction', discussing
the possibility to directly connect I/O devices to an ATM network (instead
of connecting to a PC/Workstation bus) through a common interface card.
He argued that this would provide an optimal environment for multimedia
applications including mobility and personal communications.
Day two began with a talk on 'Realtime Multimedia over the Internet', in
which Christian Huitema (INRIA) discussed existing and future means of ensuring
adequate quality for the interchange and presentation of audio and video
data over the Internet. The final day was led off with a talk by Ralf Guido
Herrtwich (RWE Telliance) entitled 'From Multimedia Systems to Interactive
Television (ITV)', which examined the alternatives in ITV systems developments.
He was positive about the market opportunities for future ITV systems as
the main delivery media of multimedia content.
In the workshop panel, which was moderated by Andre' Danthine (University
of Liège), Berthold Butscher, Ralf Guido Herrtwich, David Hutchison
(Lancaster University) and Henning Schulzrinne (GMD FOKUS) discussed 'Global
Multimedia Communication: Choosing the Right Platforms'. One hotly discussed
question was whether the Internet by itself would be adequate as a global
communication system which could meet the demands for multimedia applications
in both the residential and business sectors. Most of the panelists agreed
that the provision of heterogeneous networks and services will remain despite
the increasing number of Internet customers.
The workshop closed with a presentation by Christine Seidel (DeTeBerkom)
on 'COMENIUS ­p; The Virtual Classroom'. She discussed the pedagogical-didactic
possibilities for implementation of multimedia applications in schools,
based upon field trials in Berlin. At the end of the official program, the
workshop participants were invited to visit the DeTeBerkom premises for
a number of demonstrations. This enabled many workshop participants to view
first hand the results of several projects, which are closely related to
the workshop topics.
The Workshop Proceedings are published in the series 'Lecture Notes in Computer
Science', Nr. 1045, by the Springer Verlag (ISBN 3-540-60938-5). Due to
the great interest in the workshop, plans are underway for a subsequent
event, tentatively scheduled for 1997 at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt.
See also the IDMS'96 homepage at http://www.fokus.gmd.de/ws/idms
Eckhard Moeller - GMD
Tel: +49 30 25499 23
return to the contents page