Streaming of Continuous Media for Distance Education Systems

Streaming of Continuous Media for Distance Education Systems

Ali Dashti (Kuwait University, Kuwait) and Maytham Safar (Kuwait University, Kuwait)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-342-5.ch015
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Abstract

Distance education created new challenges regarding the delivery of large size isochronous continuous streaming media (SM) objects. In this paper, we consider the design of a framework for customized SM presentations, where each presentation consists of a number of SM objects that should be retrieved and displayed to the user in a coherent fashion. We describe a retrieval optimizer (Prime) that captures the flexibilities and requirements imposed by the user query, user profile, and session profile. Then, it determines how this query script should be imposed against the continuous media (CM) server to reduce contention. We also provide a cost model to evaluate each proposed plan. Finally, we explain the role of memory buffering in alleviating the server bandwidth fragmentation problem. Our preliminary experimental results show the feasibility and effectiveness of our proposed model and techniques in generating near optimal retrieval.
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Introduction

Distance education is the largest growing section of education in the world today. It defines a new way of interacting teaching that uses a number of different technologies to deliver the course material to remote students (usually off-campus). In order to keep in pace with the rapid developments in the field of higher education, Kuwait University established a nonprofit center specialized in the area of distance education and videoconferencing, The Kuwait University Distance Learning and Videoconferencing Center, in 2001. Such a center is a large consumer of educational technology, especially multimedia systems (MM). The audiovisual system used by the instructors displays media from different sources, such as a dedicated personal computer, laptop, VCR, DVD, or digital camera. The media is usually delivered through the Internet, cable, or satellite television, which created new challenges regarding the delivery of continuous media (streaming), especially through the Internet.

Multimedia (MM) systems utilize audio and visual information, such as video, audio, text, graphics, still images, and animations to provide effective means for communication. These systems utilize multihuman senses in conveying information, and they play a major role in educational applications (such as e-learning and distance education), library information systems (such as digital library systems), entertainment systems (such as video-on-demand and interactive TV), communication systems (such as mobile phone multimedia messaging), military systems (such as Advanced Leadership Training Simulation), and so forth. Due to the exponential improvements (of the past few years) in solid state technology (i.e., processor and memory) as well as increased bandwidth and storage capacities of modern magnetic disk drives, it has been technically feasible to implement these systems in ways we only could have dreamed about a decade ago.

A challenging task when implementing MM systems for distance education is to support the sustained bandwidth required to display streaming media (SM) objects, such as video and audio objects. Unlike traditional data types, such as records, text, and still images, SM objects are usually large in size. For example, a 2-hour MPEG-2 encoded movie requires approximately 3.6 gigabytes (GB) of storage (at a display rate of 4 megabits per second (Mb/s)). In addition, the isochronous nature of SM objects requires timely, real-time display of data blocks at a prespecified rate. For example, the NTSC video standard requires that 30 video frames per second be displayed to a viewer. Any deviation from this real-time requirement may result in undesirable artifacts, disruptions, and jitters, collectively termed hiccups. There has been a number of studies on the design of SM servers (Berson, Ghandeharizadeh, Muntz, & Ju, 1994; Gemmel, 1996; Gemmel, Vin, Kandlur, Rangan, & Rowe, 1995; Ghandeharizadeh, Dashti, & Shahabi, 1995; Ghandeharizadeh, Zimmerman, Shi, Rejaie, Ierardi, & Li, 1997; Goel, Shahabi, Yao, & Zimmerman, 2002; Muntz, Santos, & Berson, 1997; Ozden, Rastogi, & Silberschatz, 1995; Shahabi, Zimmerman, Fu, & Yao, 2002; Zimmermann, Fu, Shahabi, Yao, & Zhu, 2001). For a complete overview of SM server design issues, see Dashti, Kim, Shahabi, and Zimmerman (2003).

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Associate Editors
Table of Contents
Preface
Mahbubur Rahman Syed
Acknowledgment
Mahbubur Rahman Syed
Chapter 1
Hiroshi Takeda, Hisashi Yaginuma, Hajime Kiyohara, Akira Tokuyasu, Masami Iwatsuki, Norio Takeuchi, Hisato Kobayashi, Kazuo Yana
This article describes a new automatic digital content generation system we have developed. Recently some universities, including Hosei University... Sample PDF
Automatic Digital Content Generation System for Real-Time Distance Lectures
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Chapter 2
Filomena Ferrucci, Giuseppe Scanniello, Genoveffa Tortora
In this chapter the authors present E-World, an e-learning platform able to manage and trace adaptive learning processes which are designed and... Sample PDF
E-World: A Platform for the Management of Adaptive E-Learning Processes
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Chapter 3
Judy C.R. Tseng, Wen-Ling Tsai, Gwo-Jen Hwang, Po-Han Wu
In developing traditional learning materials, quality is the key issue to be considered. However, for high technical e-training courses, not only... Sample PDF
An Efficient and Effective Approach to Developing Engineering E-Training Courses
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Chapter 4
Te-Hua Wang, Flora Chia-I Chang
The sharable content object reference model (SCORM) includes a representation of distance learning contents and a behavior definition of how users... Sample PDF
A SCORM Compliant Courseware Authoring Tool for Supporting Pervasive Learning
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Chapter 5
WenYing Guo
Selecting appropriate learning services for a learner from a large number of heterogeneous knowledge sources is a complex and challenging task. This... Sample PDF
An Ontology-Based e-Learning Scenario
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Chapter 6
Dan Phung, Giuseppe Valetto, Gail E. Kaiser, Tiecheng Liu, John R. Kender
The increasing popularity of online courses has highlighted the need for collaborative learning tools for student groups. In this article, we... Sample PDF
Adaptive Synchronization of Semantically Compressed Instructional Videos for Collaborative Distance Learning
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Chapter 7
Jing Chen, Qing Li, Ling Feng
The abundance of knowledge-rich information on the World Wide Web makes compiling an online etextbook both possible and necessary. In our previous... Sample PDF
Refining the Results of Automatic e-Textbook Construction by Clustering
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Chapter 8
Yueting Zhuang, Xiafen Zhang, Weiming Lu, Fei Wu
Chinese brush calligraphy is a valuable civilization legacy and a high art of scholarship. It is still popular in Chinese banners, newspaper... Sample PDF
Chinese Brush Calligraphy Character Retrieval and Learning
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Chapter 9
William K. Cheung, Anders I. Mørch, Kelvin C. Wong, Cynthia Lee, Jiming Liu, Mason H. Lam
In this article we investigate the use of latent semantic analysis (LSA), critiquing systems, and knowledge building to support computer-based... Sample PDF
Grounding Collaborative Learning in Semantics-Based Critiquing
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Chapter 10
Giuliana Dettori, Paola Forcheri, Maria Grazia Ierardi
Learning Objects (LOs) are increasingly considered potentially helpful to improve teachers’ work and to spread innovation in the school system.... Sample PDF
Improving the Usefulness of Learning Objects by Means of Pedagogy-Oriented Design
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Chapter 11
Frederick W.B. Li, Rynson W.H. Lau, Taku Komura, Meng Wang, Becky Siu
Human motion animation has been one of the major research topics in the field of computer graphics for decades. Techniques developed in this area... Sample PDF
Adaptive Animation of Human Motion for E-Learning Applications
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Chapter 12
Gennaro Costagliola, Vittorio Fuccella
On-Line Testing is that sector of e-learning aimed at assessing learner’s knowledge through e-learning means. In on-line testing, due to the... Sample PDF
eWorkbook: An On-Line Testing System with Test Visualization Functionalities
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Chapter 13
Brian Stewart, Derek Briton, Mike Gismondi, Bob Heller, Dietmar Kennepohl, Rory McGreal, Christine Nelson
Athabasca University—Canada’s Open University evaluated learning management systems (LMS) for use by the university. Evaluative criteria were... Sample PDF
Choosing MOODLE: An Evaluation of Learning Management Systems at Athabasca
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Chapter 14
Damien Clark, Penny Baillie-de Byl
Computer aided assessment is a common approach used by educational institutions. The benefits range into the design of teaching, learning, and... Sample PDF
Enhancing the IMS QTI to Better Support Computer Assisted Marking
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Chapter 15
Ali Dashti, Maytham Safar
Distance education created new challenges regarding the delivery of large size isochronous continuous streaming media (SM) objects. In this paper... Sample PDF
Streaming of Continuous Media for Distance Education Systems
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Chapter 16
Manjulika Srivastava, Venugopal Reddy
The question why some learners successfully study through distance mode and others do not is increasingly becoming important as open and distance... Sample PDF
How Did They Study at a Distance? Experiences of IGNOU Graduates
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Chapter 17
Gwo-Jen Hwang, Ting-Ting Wu, Yen-Jung Chen
The prosperous development of wireless communication and sensor technologies has attracted the attention of researchers from both computer and... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Computing Technologies in Education
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Chapter 18
S. Grunwald, B. Hoover, G.L. Bruland
In this chapter the authors describe the implementation of an emerging virtual learning environment to teach GIS and spatial sciences to distance... Sample PDF
An eLearning Portal to Teach Geographic Information Sciences
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Chapter 19
Maria Manuela Cunha, Goran D. Putnik
Individualised open and distance learning at the university continuing education and post-graduate education levels is a central issue of today. The... Sample PDF
A Changed Economy with Unchanged Universities? A Contribution to the University of the Future
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Chapter 20
Richard Y.D. Xu, Jesse S. Jin
This article presents a schematic application of computer vision technologies to e-learning that is synchronous, peer-to-peer-based, and supports an... Sample PDF
Rationale, Design and Implementation of a Computer Vision-Based Interactive E-Learning System
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Chapter 21
Dorothée Rasseneur-Coffinet, Georgia Smyrniou, Pierre Tchounikine
This article presents an approach and tools that can help learners appropriate a Web-based learning curriculum and become active participants in... Sample PDF
Supporting Learners' Appropriation of a Web-Based Learning Curriculum
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Chapter 22
Gwo-Jen Hwang, Hsiang Cheng, Carol H.C. Chu, Judy C.R. Tseng, Gwo-Haur Hwang
In the past decades, English learning has received lots of attention all over the world, especially for those who are not native English speakers.... Sample PDF
Development of a Web-Based System for Diagnosing Student Learning Problems on English Tenses
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Chapter 23
Chi-Syan Lin, C. Candace Chou, Ming-Shiou Kuo
The paper outlines a new paradigm and its underlying rationales for implementing networked learning environments that is emerging from new... Sample PDF
Inhabited Virtual Learning Worlds and Impacts on Learning Behaviors in Young School Learners
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Chapter 24
Rory McGreal, Terry Anderson
Any view of e-learning in Canada must be informed by the uniquely Canadian feature of provincial jurisdiction over education. Therefore any... Sample PDF
Research and Practice of E-Learning in Canada 2008
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About the Contributors