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Group Support in Multimedia Communications Systems

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Abstract

Communication among multiple entities is becoming more and more widespread in computing and telecommunications. Although many existing communications protocols and services do offer some limited support for multicast or group communication, the new requirements of multipeer applications make it difficult to find efficient and comprehensive solutions. In this paper we discuss the required characteristics of group services and survey the extent of the support provided by today's services and protocols. In addition, a brief outline of standardisation efforts in this area within ISO and ITU is given and selected examples of research projects which deal with different aspects of group communication are presented.