Network-Integrated Multimedia Middleware, Services, and Applications

Marco Lohse
Department of Computer Science, Saarland University, Germany, June 2005 

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Today, there is a strong trend towards networked multimedia devices. However, common multimedia software architectures are restricted to perform all processing on a single system. Available software infrastructures for distributed computing -- commonly referred to as middleware -- only partly provide the facilities needed for supporting multimedia in distributed and dynamic environments. Approaches from the research community only focus on specific aspects and do not achieve the coverage needed for a full-featured multimedia middleware solution.

The Network-Integrated Multimedia Middleware (NMM) presented in this thesis considers the network as an integral part. Despite the inherent heterogeneity of present networking and device technologies, the architecture allows to extend control and cooperation to the network and enables the development of distributed multimedia applications that transparently use local and remote components in combination. The base architecture of this middleware is augmented by several middleware services that especially aim at providing additional support for developing complex applications that involve mobile users and devices. To this end, previously not available services and corresponding abstractions are proposed, realized, and evaluated. The performance and applicability of the developed middleware and its additional services are demonstrated by describing different realized application scenarios.