Date of Award

Winter 2000

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

Committee Director

Hussein Abdel-Wahab

Committee Member

James Leathrum

Committee Member

Kurt Maly

Committee Member

Ravi Mukkamala

Committee Member

Christian Wild


This work aims at providing multicast services for multimedia collaborative applications over large inter-networks such as the Internet. Multimedia collaborative applications are typically of small group size, slow group membership dynamics, and awareness of participants' identities and locations. Moreover, they usually consist of several components such as audio, video, shared whiteboard, and single user application sharing engines that collectively help make the collaboration session successful. Each of these components has its demands from the communication layer that may differ from one component to another. This dissertation identifies the overall characteristics of multimedia collaborative applications and their individual components. It also determines the service requirements of the various components from the communication layer. Based on the analysis done in the thesis, new techniques of multicast services that are more suitable for multimedia collaborative applications are introduced. In particular, the focus will be on multicast address management and connection control, routing, congestion and flow control, and error control. First, we investigate multicast address management and connection control and provide a new technique for address management based on address space partitioning. Second, we study the problem of multicast routing and introduce a new approach that fits the real time nature of multimedia applications. Third, we explore the problem of congestion and flow control and introduce a new mechanism that takes into consideration the heterogeneity within the network and within the processing capabilities of the end systems. Last, we exploit the problem of error control and present a solution that supports various levels of error control to the different components within the collaboration session. We present analytic as well as simulation studies to evaluate our work, which show that our techniques outperform previous ones.


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