Paper #11

The Design of a Digital Amphitheater

Allison Mankin, Ladan Gharai, Ron Riley
Maryann Perez Maher & Jaroslav Flidr
USC / Information Sciences Institute


In this paper, we present the design of what we have termed a Digital Amphitheater (DA). The DA is a network teleconferencing architecture and application that aims to assemble together remote participants into a virtual lecture hall or amphitheater. One of the main uses that we envision for the DA is that of hosting a technical conference with hundreds of remote participants. (In fact we plan to usetheDA to host a program meeting with roughly 200 remote attendees.) Although the design of the DA makes use of existing multicast conferencing technologies, a new active service architecture was developed to meet the challenge of working with hundreds of simultaneous video streams. Low rate video streams are coalesced in real-time so that each participant receives only a few video streams, instead of a separate stream from each participant. The active service approach includes that DA users dynamically locate instances of video merge service. The basic design and architecture of the DA are presented, along with measurements pertaining to the thesis that the DA will allows commodity PCs to participate in hundred sender videoconferences.
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- Last revised: Weds Jun 27 20:56:29 EDT 2000