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<p>The design of communication protocols to support guaranteed real-time communication for distributed multimedia systems is examined. A network level abstraction called phi -channel that supports the requirements of real-time applications is proposed. A phi -channel represents a fractional, simplex, end-to-end communication channel between a source and a destination. The channel is characterized by a set of specific performance parameters associated with its traffic. The required performance characteristics of a phi -channel are specified in terms of the packet maximum end-to-end delay and the maximum number of packets that can be sent over that delay. The primary attribute supported by the phi -channel is the on-time reliability. Based on the specified parameters, the underlying delivery system verifies the feasibility of supporting such a channel. The performance of an accepted phi -channel is guaranteed under any conditions, barring hardware failures. The basic scheme that the model uses to verify the feasibility of accepting a phi -channel and the run-time support used to guarantee its performance are described. The results of a simulation experiment implementing the basic functionalities of the proposed scheme are also presented.</p>
network level channel abstraction; multimedia communication; real-time networks; communication protocols; distributed multimedia systems; network level abstraction; phi -channel; end-to-end communication channel; performance parameters; packet maximum end-to-end delay; on-time reliability; simulation; delays; distributed databases; multimedia systems; protocols

B. Field and T. Znati, "A Network Level Channel Abstraction for Multimedia Communication in Real-Time Networks," in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge & Data Engineering, vol. 5, no. , pp. 590-599, 1993.
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