Research objectives and content
Most of the major developments in distributed multimedia computing have focused on constructing prototypical applications, such as, multimedia conferencing, video on demand, multimedia mail, video phones and teleworking. As is typical of rapidly expanding new fields of research, an applied (engi- neering) approach has been almost universally adopted. The emphasis has been placed on building systems, rather than formally defining the precise behaviour of developed systems. However, a formal approach can benefit multimedia by aiding the development of correct (error free) systems. In response, we propose research directly targeted at the forma specification and verification of distributed multimedia systems. This research will unite the complementary skills of the proposer and host institution. The proposer has significant experience in multimedia computing and specification of such systems, while researchers at VERIMAG have developed some of the best verification tools now available. The research will have two main threads. Firstly, the applicability of a spectrum of specification notations to the multimedia application area will be assessed. Secondly, the verification techniques available at VERIMAG will be specialized to the application domain. In particular, the KRONOS symbolic model checking tool will be applied to the verification of multimedia systems. Both these tasks contain significant technical hurdles and will make a major contribution to the development of multimedia applications that satisfy given requirements at reasonable costs. Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The fellowship will enable the proposer to aquire expertise in the development and use of advanced real-time verification tools and techniques. VERIMAG is one of the few research institutes in the world where such training could be undertaken. The application of such verification technology is the natural next step in the proposers research. The requested training will have both short and long term benefits. The former through completion of the proposed research and the latter since expertise aquired during the fellowship will greatly benefit research on distributed multimedia systems when the proposer returns to the UK. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
The prosposed research will be performed within the bounds of existing industrial collaborations, in particular, between VERIMAG and CNET (under a contract); between VERIMAG and the Opera project at INRIA; and between the proposer and British Telecom Research Laboratories. The proposed research will have a significant impact on industry and commerce since the construction of safe and reliable distributed multimedia systems is currently of great industrial importance.