Why Johnny Can't Multicast:
Lessons about the Evolution of the Internet

Mostafa H. Ammar
College of Computing
Georgia Tech


The need to support multicast (or multipoint) communication in the Internet has been recognized for a long time.  Significant effort has been expended over the last three decades by networking researchers and practitioners in designing and building multicast support capability within the Internet. In addition, several research efforts have demonstrated that highly scalable and desirable multimedia and information services can be deployed on top of a multicast-capable Internet infrastructure. Despite this, wide-spread availability and use of multicast communication is lacking in the Internet today. In this talk I will consider the history of multicast communication and services.  This will be done in the context of an evolutionary model that explains the current state of multicast deployment.  This exploration allows us to draw some lessons regarding the evolution of the Internet and how our approach to research and deployment can affect this evolution.


Mostafa H. Ammar is a Professor with the College of Computing at Georgia Tech where he has been since 1985.  His research interests are in the area of computer network architectures, protocols and services.  He received the S.B. and S.M. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 and 1980, respectively and the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 1985.  He was the co-recipient of the Best Paper Awards at the 7th WWW conference for the paper on the "Interactive Multimedia Jukebox" and the 2002 Parallel and Distributed Simulation (PADS) conference for the paper on "Updateable Network Simulation".  He has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking since 1999. He is also a Fellow of the IEEE.