Integrated-Services Architecture for Internet Multimedia Applications
Zhonghua Yang (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Yanyan Yang (University of California, USA), Yaolin Gu (Southern Yangtze University, China) and Robert Gay (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
Copyright: © 2005
The Internet has gone from near invisibility to near ubiquity and penetrated into every aspect of society in the past few years (Department of Commerce, 1998). The application scenarios have also changed dramatically and now demand a more sophisticated service model from the network. In the early 1990s, there was a large-scale experiment in sending digitized voice and video across the Internet through a packet-switched infrastructure (Braden, Clark, & Shenker, 1994). These highly visible experiments have depended upon three enabling technologies: (a) Many modern workstations now come equipped with built-in multimedia hardware, (b) IP multicasting, which was not yet generally available in commercial routers, is available, and (c) highly sophisticated digital audio and video applications have been developed. It became clear from these experiments that an important technical element of the Internet is still missing: Real-time applications often do not work well across the Internet. The Internet, as originally conceived, offers only a very simple quality-of-service (QoS), point-to-point, best-effort data delivery. However, for a real-time application, there are two aspects of the problem with using this service model. If the sender and/or receiver are humans, they simply cannot tolerate arbitrary delays; on the other hand, if the rate at which video and audio arrive is too low, the signal becomes incomprehensible. To support real-time Internet applications, the service model must address those services that relate most directly to the time of delivery of data. Real-time applications like video and audio conferencing typically require stricter guarantees on throughput and delay. The essence of real-time service is the requirement for some service guarantees in terms of timing. In response to these demands of real-time multimedia applications, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has significantly augmented the Internet protocol stack based on the Internet integrated-services model, which is the focus of this article.