Dynamic Distributed Multimedia: Seamless Sharing and Reconfiguration of Multimedia Flow Graphs

Mobile devices with multimedia and networking capabilities are quickly becoming ubiquitous through the availability of small notebooks, PDA, and in particular, mobile phones. However, most multimedia systems are still centralized, concentrating all multimedia computing on a single device. At best they deploy a strict client/server architecture mostly for streaming multimedia from some server while processing it locally.

Ubiquitous computing environments on the other hand require systems that allow multimedia content and processing to be flexibly distributed across different devices that are currently available in a network while supporting dynamic migration between devices as users move or requirements change.

This paper concentrates on the two most important operations for dynamic distributed multimedia: combining two flow graphs so that common processing can be shared between them as much as possible, and -- based on this service -- reconfiguring a running multimedia flow graph across a network. We use a number of different application scenarios to motivate the basic middleware requirements including device control and distributed synchronization. Finally, we present two key applications and report on results of an implementation of this approach.