A Group and Session Management System for Distributed Multimedia Applications

Erik Wilde, Pascal Freiburghaus, Daniel Koller, Bernhard Plattner


Distributed multimedia applications are very demanding with respect to support they require from the underlying group communication platform. In this paper, an approach is described which aims at providing group communication platform designers with a component which can be used for powerful group and session management functionality. This component, which can be integrated into group communication platforms, is part of a system called the group and session management system (GMS). The GMS model consists of GMS user agents, which are the components to be integrated into group communication platforms, and GMS system agents which are distributed directory agents providing the distributed database which the user agents access. Communication between these two types of agents is defined in two protocols, the GMS access protocol between user agents and system agents, and the GMS system protocol between system agents. GMS also defines a number of objects and relations which can be used to manage users, groups, and sessions on a very abstract level, thus providing both group communication platform designers and programmers of distributed multimedia application with a high-level description of group communications. This approach enables a truly integrated approach for collaborative applications, where all applications, even when using different group communication platforms, can share the same database about users, groups, and sessions. The paper also contains a short description of the ongoing implementation of GMS's components.


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