CPSC 689/602--Spring 1997

Computer-Supported Cooperative Work


Paper Report

Title:Advances in Interactive Digital Multimedia Systems
Author:Edward A. Fox
Citation:IEEE Computer, 24(10) pp. 9-21, October 1991


In this paper, Fox describes the various digital multimedia systems and explains some of the technologies and strengths. A major portion of the description is on a technical plane, containing specifications, rather than the impact of these technologie s on CSCW.

We must, in our attempt, to develop interactive multimedia systems, try to emulate the bandwidth, fidelity and effectiveness, that is available in face-to-face communication. Several advances in the areas of processors, networks, storage devices etc., ha ve brought us closer to a solution.

Videodisks appeared in the late 70's and made possible the storage of a large volume of information. However, it is the digital storage media that holds more promise. Digital storage reduces loss during storage and retrieval and makes storage possible, using computers.

CD-ROMS are a very low cost storage and distribution media. A typical CD-ROM can hold about 600 Mb. of data and can be manufactured under a couple of dollars. Advances in networking technologi es (e.g. FDDI and ATM etc.), have made possible, the storage of data on servers which have space, but are possibly separated by large distances and can yet be accessible in real time.

Audio and video can be combined to make the multimedia publication more attractive. The quality of audio and video often has an impact on the storage space required, as higher resolution/fidelity requires more storage space to record overhead information .

The author next, tries to overcome the storage problems, by explaining the various compression methods. These compression methods are standards that have evolved after considerable deliberation and effort (e.g. M PEG, JPEG etc.).

Though products utilizing the existing technologies have been built (e.g. CD-I, DVI etc.), there is much more to be done.

CSCW can get a big boost, as we build faster processors, storage devices with low access times and faster networks to access these digital media.


Report prepared by: Ajay Kumar Gummadi Email: ajay@ee.tamu.edu
Discussion date: February 17, 1997            Report date: February 17, 1997