CPSC 601.43 Topics in Multimedia Networking (Winter 06)

This course is primarily concerned with the problems that arise when carrying audio/video content over modern communication networks. The course will present an overview of current multimedia applications (e.g., media-on-demand, Internet Telephony, online gaming) and discuss deployment problems, and study solutions presented in the literature. The course will also examine emerging technologies and open research problems such as quality of service support for networked multimedia applications and streaming in peer-to-peer networks.

This page provides the following information:

Administrative Details


06/01/2006: Course web site launched.


This course assumes that students have a general background in networking (e.g., CPSC 441 at the University of Calgary or equivalent). Background in computer systems performance evaluation (e.g., simulation, experimental, or analytical approaches) and/or telecommunications networking would be an asset, but is not required. Students who do not have the required background but are willing to independently study additional material to build the required background are welcome. If you have any doubts about the adequacy of your background for this course, you are advised to contact the instructor as soon as possible.


There will be no formal textbook for this course. The primary reading material for this course will be drawn from current research papers and selected chapters of relevant books. These will be provided to you, in advance, either in hardcopy or electronic form. This class will be lecture-driven; however, class participation is an essential component of this course.

Selected chapters from the following texts will be used to complement the material drawn from the research literature:


Please refer to the course information sheet. Additional information will be provided here (soon).

Lecture Topics and Readings

A tentative outline of topics is provided below. (Notes and electronic copies of research papers will be posted here.) These can be revised, to some extent, to accommodate topics that are of particular interest to the students attending this course.
  1. Introduction (1 week) Overview of multimedia applications on the Internet; Requirements of multimedia applications; Hurdles in the deployment of multimedia application on the current Internet; Compression.
    Slides: Overview (PPT, PDF)
  2. Empirical Studies of Audio/Video Streaming (1 week) Performance parameters; Characteristics of multimedia traffic sources; Factors affecting performance; Review of empirical studies of audio/video streaming on the Internet; Video streaming on wireless channels.
  3. Multicast (2 weeks) Overview of IP multicast; Deployment issues with IP multicast; Application-level multicast.
  4. Content Distribution (2 weeks) Scalable streaming protocols for video-on-demand (periodic broadcast protocols, patching, bandwidth skimming protocols); Scalable bulk data distribution; Content Distribution Networks; Peer-to-peer streaming.
  5. Rate Control of Streaming Media (1.5 weeks) Review of TCP Congestion Control; TCP Vegas; Binomial congestion control; Unicast rate control protocols (e.g., RAP, TFRC); Multicast rate control protocols (e.g., RLM, FLID-DL, WEBRC).
  6. Other topics TBD ...