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Integrating computing and telecommunications: A tale of two architectures

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The emerging importance of multimedia applications has led to many ideas about how best to support multimedia in a distributed environment. Lancaster University proposes one approach, i.e. start with models emerging from the Open Distributed Processing (ODP) standardization process, and extend them to incorporate multimedia services. Bellcore's Touring Machine proposes a different approach: let developers of multimedia applications specify an interface, and then design a network that meets the specification. Each approach has relevance, and an ideal environment must incorporate both, but questions remain about how the two perspectives fit together. We have contrasted and compared the Lancaster and Touring Machine approaches in an attempt to integrate their individual perspectives into one design. This paper documents our results.