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SICMA: Scalable Interactive Continuous Media Server Design and Application (ACTS #071)

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Contract Information

Programme Acronym: ACTS
Start Date: 1995-09-01
End Date: 1998-08-31
Contract No: N/A
Role for TUC/MUSIC: Contractor
Funding for TUC/MUSIC: 405000.0 Euros
Principal Investigator for TUC/MUSIC: Stavros Christodoulakis

Project Information

Project Description

The general aim of the SICMA project is to design a scalable server for the delivery of images, data and continuous multimedia information and to demonstrate its efficiency by applying it to a relevant application, namely the so called "Virtual Museum".

The technology used for the implementation of the server will be derived from a massively parallel processing system technology design with an outstanding price / performance ratio for embedded supercomputing applications in industrial environments. The data access and management layer used for the retrieval of information will implement the emerging DAVIC (Digital Audio-Visual Council) standard. The server will be installed within two international museums and used for in-house applications as well as for remote access from other museums, building a pan-European cultural network in this way. In the final phase of the project the server will be installed within public networks making it possible to access the information from other public places and from private homes. Thus, the efficiency of the server and its basic software layer as well as the functionality of the generic application will be demonstrated and validated by several trials providing a realistic testbed. The efficiency will also be investigated by simulations using synthetic and realistic workload, measured in former trials.

Project Achievements and Progress

The SICMA project started on September '95. The first version of the server and application prototypes will be ready on November '96.

As it concerns the data management server the following features are already supported:

  • Modelling of MPEG-2 video, audio streams and support for direct access to video frames by using a frame index.
  • support for parallel placement and retrieval of video units, real-time scheduling of delay-sensitive requests.
  • support of VoD applications with standard VCR functionality
  • HTML document modelling and support for accessing these documents via a WWW browser. Access methods for text and information retrieval functionality for text.

For the access management layer, which follows the DAVIC 1.0 standard, the following are supported:

  • The Service Gateway Service Element which acts as an entry / control point for the server.
  • The Stream Service element, which is responsible for handling data streams (audio/video) from the server to clients. The MPEG-2 transport Stream Protocol over ATM (MPEG-2 TS over AAL5) has been implemented.
  • The Content Service element, which enables the installation and modification of applications and content within the server.
  • The core DSM-CC (Digital Storage Media - Command and Control MPEG Standard) interfaces have been implemented and the Orbix 2.0.1 product is used as a Request Broker for the transfer of messages within the client-server environment.

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Project Consortium

Partner Logo MSC
Multimedia Systems Center S.A
Partner Logo DTAG
Deutsche Telekom
Partner Logo PARSYTEC
Partner Logo CAP
Cap Gemini
Partner Logo NHM
The Natural History Museum
Partner Logo 3DS
3D Scanners Ltd.
Partner Logo AIA
Atelier fur Informatik und Architektur
Partner Logo Tongeren
Gallo Remeins Museum Tongeren