COST Action : 264
Potential participants:

Title : Enabling Networked Multimedia Group Communication


Alcatel Austria

Scheydgasse 41, A-1211 Vienna, Austria

Name of representatives : Helmut Leopold , Manager Business Development, Network Systems and Services
tel : +43 1 27722 3551
fax : +43 1 27722 1172
Email :

Activity related to the action : Telcos and CATV operators have to continue to upgrade their networks both to achieve network efficiency and to compete in the long term for new and advanced communication services. Now it is important to note that only at a sufficiently high volume level the development of new technologies becomes justified. Thus a powerful access network infrastructure, which supports multimedia group communication services to a broad range of users; i.e. housholds SMEs and business units, will be the prerequisite for any mass deployment of future multimedia services. Alcatel Austria´s role in the concerned COST action will be the following. Alcatel Austria is interested to extend the foreseen telecommunication infrastructure by new emerging access technologies like ADSL for example. It is intended to investigate the implications of new access technologies on the QoS of future multimedia group communication services. In addition to this, Alcatel Austria will contribute to the research and experimentation activities concerning the multimedia group communication technologies in order ensure, that the developed concepts and systems are in line with the various market expectations.

Vienna University of Technology

Institute of Communication Networks

Gusshausstrasse 25/388 A-1040 Vienna

Name of representatives : Harmen R. van As, Full-Professor - Head of Institute
tel : +43-1-58801-5246
fax : +43-1-5870583
email :

Activity related to the action : The institute of Communication Networks has activities in diverse scenarios of videoconferencing, in QoS networking, congestion control and resource management, in networking of distributed heterogeneous systems, and novel network architectures for broadband applications. In these areas we will contribute to the new COST action


University of Liege

Institut d'Electricite Montefiore, B28

B-4000 Liege 1, Belgium

Name of representatives : Danthine André, Professor Emeritus
tel : +32 4 366 26 90
fax : +32 4 366 29 89
Email :

Activity related to the action : The University of Liege will be also involved in the area 2 : Infrastructure and Dissemination. From the past experience of the WG 1 of COST 237, it is obvious that an in-depth assessment of the problems encountered in the EUro Seminars is essential to progress. The University of Liege intend first to contribute to the assessment of the national infrastructures involved and second to identify the problems linked to the European dimension of the action.

Prof. Guy Leduc
tel : +32 4 3662698
fax : +32 4 3662989
Email :

Activity related to the action : The University of Liege will be involved in research and experimentation on multimedia group communication, and in particular on the following topics: error control for multicast transmission (including FEC), multicast congestion control and multicast QoS capable protocols. Both IP (Integrated Services) and ATM will be considered as relevant architectures for this work. To support this research, the University of Liege (together with the University of Louvain-la-Neuve) will be funded by the Wallonia region, and is very much interested in participating in larger scale experiments such as the COSTbone. The University of Liege will also contribute to deploy the COSTbone in Belgium.


UCL Crypto Group

Place du Levant, 3 B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve Belgium

Name of representative : Quisquater Jean-Jacques, professor
tel :
fax : 32.2.358.55.83
Email :

Activity related to the action : Multicast is a very important subject in the future: we will continue and amplify our work about security of continous flow of information in that direction (multicast): everything has to be done. We will continue our participation to IETF: our goal will be to obtain standards for secure and efficient infrastructure for multicast. We will also use the Mbone for experiments in doing research at distance and for teaching.


University of Cyprus

Department of Computer Science

Kallipoleos 75, Nicosia, CY1678, Cyprus

Name of representatives : Andreas Pitsillides, Associate Professor
tel : + 357 2 338705/703
fax : + 357 2 339062
email :

Activity related to the action : Cooperate in the identification of solutions for the improvement of the multipeer communication architecture, including applications, communication mechanisms, and infrastructure. Investigate ways on how best to use our ATM based pilot network. Basic research and experimentation, as described in work package 1. In particular, conduct basic research and testing of ideas in the transmission control facility (multicast congestion control/flow control/routing/connection admission, multicast quality of service, reliability and availability, etc...), with a special focus of the research in real time & (distributed) multimedia multipeer issues.


Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing

Unska 3, 10000 ZAGREB, Croatia

Name of representatives : Professor Branka Zovko-Cihlar
Tel. + 385 1 6129 839
Fax: + 385 1 6129 717

Activity related to the action : We are going to participate in Area 2: Research and Experimentation. Our activity in the action will be orientated to:
-Congestion control, buffering and rate control for video traffic, feedback control scheme for traffic monitoring based on local adaptation of the quantization scale,
-QOS parameters for video services from the viewers' perspective, mapping between user QOS requirements and parameters of the media services (QOS requirements for the resources).


University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris

and LIP6 Laboratory

4, place Jussieu F-75252 Paris Cedex 05 France

Name of representative : Professor Serge Fdida
tel : +33 1 44 27 30 58
fax : +33 1 44 27 62 86
email :

Activity related to the action : Our group has identified the utmost importance of research activities related to group communication since the early 90's where our first publication on multicasting was issued. We have continued this action in many frameworks, including COST237. Our work has been dealing with the Taxonomy of group communication as well as the definition of multicast service and associated mechanisms. Two PhD were completed and two are in progress on aspects related to AGI (Active Group Integrity), multicast semantics (statistical reliability), reliability and scalability, flow and congestion control, and multicast and QoS architectures. Experimentation of the proposed mechanisms was done over the Mbone and also on top of a french national research testbed (IP/ATM).

INRIA Sophia-Antipolis

2004 route des lucioles, 06902 Sophia antipolis, France

Name of representative : Dr Christophe Diot
tel : 33.492.38.77.56
fax : 33.492.38.79.78
Email :

Activity related to the action : The RODEO project at INRIA Sophia antipolis is involved in group communication on the Internet. RODEO has designed video-conferencing and internet telephony software. We are now involved in distributed games on the Internet. In this context, we are actively working on group management for large session, and on end-to-end transmission control for large scale multicast application. We are also active contributors to IETF and IRTF.


University of Mannheim

Praktische Informatik IV

L 15, 16 68131 Mannheim Germany

Name of representative : Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Effelsberg, Professor of Computer Science
tel: +49-621-292-3300
fax: +49-621-292-5745

Activity related to the action : The University of Mannheim will contribute to this COST action in both technical areas: research, and infrastructure. In the research area we will investigate the integration of QoS support into multicast architectures and protocols. Today multicasting is done in best-effort mode only; we will work on new algorithms and protocols for QoS-based multicast routing, and on agent-based cooperative QoS management. In the infrastructure area we will take a leadership role in the establishment of regular EuroSeminars over the Costbone, i.e. talks on network topics, given by distinguished scientists in Europe, and transmitted via multicast. These EuroSeminars will improve the quick dissemination of new research results throughout Europe, and at the same time serve as a test-bed for new group communication mechanisms developed in the framework of this COST action.

University of Karlsruhe

Institute of Telematics

Zirkel 2 76139 Karlsruhe, Germany

Name of representative : Markus Hofmann (Senior Researcher)
Tel.: (++49)(0)721 - 608 6413
Fax : (++49)(0)721 - 388097

Activity related to the action : We (the Institute of Telematics) would like to contribute our current research results in the field of scalable multicast protocols, congestion and error control, heterogeneous multicast and implementation techniques for multicast protocols. Possibilities for further improvements and new technical solutions should be identified in close cooperation with project partners. A strong cooperation is also necessary in order to evaluate the work by doing intensive experiments on a real, wide area multicast network. New applications have to be realized based on the developed multicast technology in order to demonstrate their practical benefits. Issues of great interest might be Push Services, Web Caching, Video Distribution, etc.

Our experience gained in intensive and long-lasting multicast experiments in the worldwide MBone may be useful in establishing and improving an appropriate multicast infrastructure. However, the main focus of our research will be on the development, exploitation and evaluation of new multicast technologies.


Technical University of Budapest,

Dept. of Telecomm. and Telamatics,

Budapest, Sztoczek u. 2, H-1111, Hungary

Name of representative : Peter Tatai, Head of TSP Lab
tel : 361-463-4189
fax : 361-463-3107
Email :

Activity related to the action : We are interested mainly in the Research and Experimentation Area. We plan experiments on distributed multimedia applications, multiparty conferencing, cooperative work sessions for group members who are remotely located and we would like to conduct research work on the related problems, in particular, the suitable protocols (algorithms) needed to provide definite QoS in such multipeer group communication. In addition, we would lay particular emphasis on simplifying the access to multicast services in order to widen the range and the number of users.


University di Pisa.

Facolta di Ingegneria,

via Diotisalvi 2 -- 56126 PISA

Name of representative : Dr. Luigi Rizzo -- Ricercatore at the Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell'Informazione,
tel. +39-50-568533
fax +39-50-568522

Activity related to the action :We are interested in working in Area 1 - Research and Experimentation activity. Specific research goals will involve:
- evaluation of FEC-based approaches to error recovery for reliable group communication protocols: study of scalability issues, adaptation to asymmetric communication channels, applicability to different type of traffic. We already have some experience and prototype implementations on such approaches.
- design of scalable congestion control mechanisms for multicast communication, including both receiver based and router based solutions (the latter mainly for policing and protection).
This activity will be a follow-on to work already in progress.

Universita` Cattolica, Piacenza

Center for Research on the Applications of Telematics to Organizations and Society (CRATOS)

CRATOS, Universita` Cattolica, Via Emilia Parmense, 84
29100 Piacenza, Italy

Name of representative : Domenico Ferrari, Professor and Director
Tel: +39-523-599306
Fax: +39-523-599303

Activity related to the action : We plan to study the problem of providing different qualities of service to different participants in a multipeer communication, especially within the context of ATM and satellite internetworks including wireless links. QoS requirements may differ not just because of differing tastes, but also because of differing network and end-system characteristics; for instance, those participants who are connected through a mobile wireless terminal usually have a lower bandwidth, a more error-prone connection, and a smaller buffering capacity than those with a wired host. We will also investigate the question of fair and stable charging algorithms for such kinds of heterogeneous multipeer communications.


Instituto Superior Tecnico

Instituto de Telecomunicacoes

Torre Norte, piso 10, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Av. Rovisco Pais, LISBOA 1096 Lisboa codex

Name of representative : Antonio Carlos C. M. Almeida, lecturer/researcher
tel : +351 1 841 8456
fax : +351 1 841 8472
Email :

Activity related to the action : Our main interests in the new follow-on COST initiative, as described in the MoU, include both project parts:
1. "Research and Experimentation" ,
2. "Infrastructure and Dissemination".
In the first part, the main interests concern Congestion Control and Multicast QoS capable architectures. Some research has been conducted within our institution in the area of rate-based control, although in a different context (ABR service in ATM Networks). Some of the point-to-point rate-based models investigated so far may serve as a basis for the study of end-to-end congestion control in higher point-to-point protocol layers, and vice-versa. Also, considerable research has been presented in the literature addressing multicast control mechanisms for best effort traffic (once again, taking the ABR service as an example). In the context of this new COST framework, where these mechanisms may also be application-based, multicast congestion control is strongly related with the "Multicast QoS" topic. First, the provision of basic reliable multicast transport mechanisms, which have a different approach from classic point-to-point transport mechanisms due to the scalability of the problem, present some challenges not clearly addressed so far. Second, the relationship of this basic reliable transfer with multicast congestion control performed either at the same end-to-end layer or at a layer below, is a new research area. In some extent, the same considerations apply to other QoS requirements different from the basic "reliable data transfer", such as real-time requirements.

In the second part, "Infrastructure and Dissemination", we are mainly interested in the establishment and improvement of a distributed infrastructure for experimentation in the area of "Computer-Supported Collaborative Work". The main reason for this particular application area is our involvement in past CSCW projects where experiments were conducted over point-to-point networks (both Internet and ATM based) "emulating" multicasting environments, with all the advantages and obvious drawbacks of this approach. At the time these experiments were conducted, no other reliable solution was available for group communication. Providing functionalities for the same kind of collaborative applications over a multicast infrastructure is an attractive challenge for us.

ADETTI - Associacao para o Desenvolvimento das Telecomunicacoes e Tecnologias de Informatica

Edificio ISCTE

Av. Forcas Armadas 1600 Lisboa PORTUGAL

Name of representative : Jose Guimaraes, research
tel: +351 1 7903064
fax: +351 1 7935300

Activity related to the action : ADETTI is located in the University campus of ISCTE and has been an active participant in several European Union projects in the areas of multimedia applications. This activity included the design and setup of group communications over ATM and ISDN. Jose Guimaraes develops his research activities in ADETTI but he is also responsible for the University computer center of ISCTE whose network infrastructure is used for testbed applications. His reasearch activity has been centered in the security of multimedia applications involving user authentication and conditional access to services. For the areas of Multimedia Group Communication, security and user authentication are an important subject, thus he is very interested to contribute to the Action objectives and to participate as a Cost member in the new Action activities.


Warsaw University of Technology

Institute of Telecommunications,

Nowowiejska 15/19 00-665 Warsaw POLAND

Name of representative : Slawomir Kuklinski, Ph.D, Head of Multimedia Group
Tel: +48 22 660 7886
Fax: +48 22 25 49 50

Activity related to the action : We are going to participate in : Area 1- INFRASTRUCTURE:
1) Creating and managing (probably with support from Polish Telecom) of the new experimental, multicast network installed in Poland, (polish part of the Costbone) - participation in experiments.
Area 2 - RESEARCH topics:
1) Fundamental issues in multicast and broadcast protocols in distributed systems (specification models for cooperating entities, models of multicast chanels, resilience, redundancy),
2) Analysis and synthesis methods for multicast and broadcast protocols ,
3) Behavior of systems cooperating via multicast protocols (specification of global system behavior with regard to individual component behavior),
4) Mobile agents in multicast communication ,
5) Terminal equipment requirements for the efficient multicast, multisession communication.

Institute of Telecommunication and Information Technologies (ITTI)

ul. Rakoniewicka 20 60-111 Poznan, Poland

Name of representative : Prof. Czeslaw Jedrzejek, Head Multimedia group
fax : 48 61 8301887
Email :
Activity related to the action : We would work on congestion control for multicast. We have experise in application based control (with techniques such as layered multicast or media-scaling). We have previously studied transport characteristics using a vic tool with RTP and a scalable intra H.261 video coder in the regime of a heavy congestion. We would adapt a draft MPEG-4 coder to vic (or NetMeeting) to multicast. We anticipate to disseminate a material related to electrical work safety to members of multicast group.


Jozef Stefan Institute (IJS)

Jamova 39 1000 Ljubljana Slovenia

Name of representative : Prof. dr. Borka Jerman-Blazic Head of the Laboratory for Open Systems and Networks
Tel.: +386 61 177 3408
Fax: +386 61 123 2118

Activity related to the action : We will mainly contribute to the Area 2 of the action: Research and experimentation. We will concentrate on studying and experimenting with various aspects of the main topics of the group communication framework, studying the problems of naming and addressing, error control, congestion control. We are also willing to study and experiment multicast QoS capable architecture, monitoring the work in different standardization or project bodies. We also plan to develop, experiment and test of new security technology in multicast applications, Video on Demand, video teleconferencing and CSCW.


Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)

Computer Architecture Department

Jordi Girona 1-3. Campus Nord. Mòdul D6. 08034 Barcelona

Name of representative : Jordi Domingo-Pascual, associate professor
tel : + 34 3 401 6981
fax : + 34 3 401 7055
Email :

Activity related to the action : On behalf of the Broadband Communications group I confirm that we are willing to participate in this new action. We will participate in Area 1. From our laboratory and using our resources we may contribute to build the Costbone infrastructure. With our experience managing distributed events and managing the National Host platform at the UPC we are prepared to manage the new infrastructure and to define, participate and evaluate the experiments that will be performed. We are willing to contribute also with seminars, conferences and experiments. We will participate in Area 2. The technical topics of this working group have a big interest in our research work. Error and congestion control on high speed networks and multicast QoS provision are topics we are already working on.

Politechnical University of Madrid (UPM)

Faculty of Informatics

Campus de Montegancedo 28660 Boadilla del Monte - Madrid

Name of representative : Maria Calderon Pastor; Assistant Professor
tel: +34 1 3367396
fax: +34 1 3367393

Activity related to the action : Our team is working in Group communication. We are investigating different approaches to the topics of error and congestion control for large multicast groups. In other hand we are working to identify different semantics of reliability for the diverse classes of emerging multicast applications. We are willing to participate in Area 1 (infrastructure and dissemination) and Area 2 (research and experimentation).




Name of representative : Dr. Maher Hamdi, prof. Jean-Pierre Hubaux, prof. Jean-Yves Le Boudec, EPFL
tel : +4121 6932627
fax : +4121 6936610
Email :

Activity related to the action : We are interested in a contribution on following topics (the appropriate subset will be identified as soon as the Action will start):
- end-to-end synchronization of multipeer communications,
- applying perceptual quality techniques to the improvement of end-to-end QoS,
- lightweight multicast with many groups and many senders,
- scalable resource reservation protocols.

ETH Zurich,

Computer Engineering an Networks Laboratory, TIK

Gloriastrasse 35, CH - 8092 Zurich, Switzerland

Name of representative : Dr. Burkhard Stiller, TIK, ETHZ.
tel : +41 1 632 7000, +41 1 632 7016
fax : +41 1 632 1035
Email :

Activity related to the action : The proposed contributions encompass:

- Congestion control
As the congestion of packet-based networks becomes a crucial fact for the efficient support of multicast services, pricing determines an economic incentive besides technical approaches such as flow and congestion control as well as aggressive flow detection mechanisms. Research focuses on experimental verifications of pricing approaches to minimize multicast-driven congestion problems.

- Multicast QoS capable architectures
Components and services for QoS-enhanced communication middleware require the integrated handling of costs in terms of QoS parameters. Appropriate accounting mechanisms of architectures for QoS-specified multicast services need to be looked for.


Lancaster University

Computing Department

Engineering Building Lancaster LA1 4YR UK

Name of representative : Prof. David Hutchison
tel :+44 1524 593798
fax : +44 1524 593608
Email :

Activity related to the action : In addition to participating in Area 1 (infrastructure and dissemination), Lancaster University will work on the following Area 2 (research and experimentation): scalability in group management, in which the dynamics of the group activity as well as the management of the group properties and semantic relationships between users will be addressed; and multicast QoS-capable architectures, in which we shall study and develop support mechanisms from the perspectives of efficiency, network support and signaling.


Department of Computer Science

Gower Street London WC1E 6BT England

Name of representative : Jon Crowcroft, Professor of Network Systems
tel : = +44 171 380 7296
fax : = +44 171 387 1397
Email : =

Activity related to the action : UCL will participate in both the infrastructure ("costbone") and the research - we have a track record in the MICE, MERCI and MECCANO projects of deploying Europe wide multicast services, and in COIAS now for IPv6. We work closely with INRIA on reliable multicast in the HIPPARCH projects, and within the IRTF's working group on reliable multicast. We have an interest in group naming services to support large scale multicast applications, and in scaling techniques for reliability and group control, as well as aspects of secure group communication.

* COST 264 Home Page
Last modif: 22/04/1998
Editor : S. Fdida -

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