IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications

A Flexible Middleware for Multimedia Communication: Design, Implementation, and Experience

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Distributed multimedia applications require a variety of communication services. These services and different application requirements have to be provided and supported within: 1) end-systems in an efficient and integrated manner, combining the precise specification of quality-of-service (QoS) requirements, application interfaces, multicast support, and security features and 2) the network. The Da CaPo++ system presented in this paper provides an efficient end-system middleware for multimedia applications, capable of handling various types of applications in a modular fashion. Application needs and communication demands are specified by values in terms of QoS attributes and functional properties, such as encryption requirements or multicast support. Da CaPo++ automatically configures suitable communication protocols, provides for an efficient runtime support, and offers an easy-to-use, object-oriented application programming interface. While its applicability to real-life applications was shown by prototype implementations, performance evaluations have been carried out yielding practical experiences and numerical results.