CSC 557 Multimedia Computing and Networking


Fall 2006, EB2 1230, TH 3:50 – 5:05

Department of Computer Science

North Carolina State University


Course Schedule:




Dr. Injong Rhee Office: EB II  3268, Phone: 515-3305 
Office Hours:  Monday, 2~3pm
Email: rhee AT 
Home page: 



Jeong Ki Min, PhD Student, CSC, NCSU.

Email: jkmin AT

TA Hours:  Friday, 1~3pm
Office :
EBII 2240



Students should have a general background in networking and distributed systems that include a basic understanding of packet switching and internetworking based on the IP protocol suite. A first course in operating systems (an equivalent of CSC501) and computer networks (an equivalent of CSC570) will be hard prerequisites for all students.  Students without proper background may enroll in the course with the consent of the instructor but will be expected to acquire the necessary background on their own through reading outside of class.


Course Objectives

Multimedia networking came to its life when the first video conference phone was introduced by AT&T in 1960s. However, its existence has been substantially grown since the dot com boom brought a rich set of multimedia Internet applications such as video/audio players, video and chat tools, etc., which we use every day. Use of the Internet for multimedia delivery has been a practical, inexpensive choice, but it introduces a rich set of interesting, yet challenging research problems in systems and networking.

This course will investigate these research problems and their
solutions. We will study seminal research papers and Internet standard protocols enabling multimedia applications of today and tomorrow. The course is suitable for students and practitioners who aspire to embark on research and development for the Internet-based multimedia applications.

The course covers the concepts and principles that underlie the
transmission of continuous media such as digital audio and video across packet-switched computer networks. Each year we alternate topics in multimedia applications and tools, and multimedia networking. This year's emphasis is on network technologies for real-time, low-latency delivery of multimedia. Although some basic concepts on media compression, retrieval, and applications will be covered, the majority of the class time will be devoted to multimedia networking techniques.



No Textbook.


A reading list is provided as follows (all the papers are on-line and accessible via the links below). This list will be updated.


Audio and Video Compression

1.       Davis Yen Pan, “Digital Audio Compression,”  Digital Technical Journal, Vol. 5, No. 2, Spring 1993, pp. 28-40  (pdf)


2.       G. Wallace, JPEG Still Picture Compression Standard, IEEE Transactions on Computer Electronics, 1991


3.       D. Le Gall, MPEG: A video Compression Standard for Multimedia Applications, Communications of the ACM, vol. 34, no. 4, April 1991.

4.   David Marshall, The Discrete Cosine Transform(DCT)


Networking Primer


n       Any introductory computer networking textbook will be ok. I recommend Comer’s book: Comer, Internetworking With TCP/IP Volume 1: Principles Protocols, and Architecture, 4th edition, 2000. ISBN 0-13-018380-6


IP Multicast routing


n       Semeria/Maufer:  Introduction to IP Multicast Routing, (pdf1, pdf2)


n        An Overview of Inter-Domain Multicast Routing Microsoft


n       MASC and BGMP by Kimar et al.


Delay Jitter Management

1.      Queue Monitoring by Stone and Jeffay


Application level multicast


n       Thesis by Sherlia Shi (read chapter 2)


Unicast Packet Loss Recovery


1.       Colin Perkins, Orion Hodson and Vicky Hardman, A Survey of Packet Loss Recovery Techniques for Streaming Media, IEEE Network Magazine, September/October 1998


2.       Injong Rhee and Srinath Joshi, ``Error Recovery for Interactive Video Transmission over the Internet,'' ( PDF) IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, Special Issue on Error Robust Transmission of Images and Video. Scheduled for publication in June or August, 2000.

Multicast loss recovery


1.       Floyd, S., Jacobson, V., Liu, C., McCanne, S., and Zhang, L., A Reliable Multicast Framework for Light-weight Sessions and Application Level Framing, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, December 1997, Volume 5, Number 6, pp. 784-803 (also Floyd’s link)


2.       Parity-Based Loss Recovery for Reliable Multicast Transmission (1997)  
Jorg Nonnenmacher, Ernst Biersack, Don Towsley, IEEE\ACM Transactions on Networking


3.       Reliable Multicast Transport Protocol (RMTP), IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications , Vol.15, No.3, April 1997, pages 407-421 (Sanjoy Paul, K. Sabnani, J.C. Lin, and S. Bhattacharyya).


Congestion Control


1.       TCP/IP (RFC2581) File


2.       J. Mahdavi, S. Floyd, TCP-Friendly Unicast Rate-Based Flow Control, Technical note sent to the end2end-interest mailing list, January 8, 1997.


3.       Equation-Based Congestion Control for Unicast Applications (postscript, PDF).
Sally Floyd, Mark Handley, Jitendra Padhye, and Joerg Widmer.
August 2000. SIGCOMM 2000.


4.       Rhee, V. Ozdemir, and Y. Yi., TEAR: TCP Emulation at Receivers -- Flow Control for Multimedia Streaming, Apr. 2000. NCSU Technical Report


Multicast congestion control


n       Extending Equation-based Congestion Control to Multicast Applications (Postscript, PDF). Jörg Widmer and Mark Handley, Proc. ACM SIGCOMM (San Diego, CA), Aug. 2001


IETF Standard Protocols for Multimedia Transport


1.       Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) RFC 3550


2.       Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)

A.      Henning Schulzerinne’s SIP Resource site

B.       IPTEL site (tutorials, recent development)


3.       Session Description Protocol (SDP) RFC 2327


4.       Session Announcement Protocol (SAP) RFC 2974


5.       Real-time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) (RFC 2326)


6.       RSVP: A New Resource ReSerVation Protocol (1993) Lixia Zhang, Steve Deering, Deborah Estrin, Scott Shenker, Daniel Zappala, IEEE Network Magazine (paper)


7.       DiffServ

A.      An Architecture for Differentiated Services (RFC 2475)

B.       Assured Forwarding PHB Group (RFC 2597)

C.      An Expedited Forwarding PHB (RFC 2598)



Grading policy

For Students of CSC557-001
Midterm (15%)

Final Exam (20%)

Paper review and Presentation (25%)

Programming assignments (40%)

For Students of CSC557-601 (Online distance lecture)

Midterm (20%)

Final Exam (25%)

Paper review (15%)

Programming assignments (40%)


The following grade scale will be used (no curve is applied):


98% - 100% A+

87% - 89% B+

77% - 79% C+

67% - 69% D+

59% and below F

94% - 97%   A

84% - 86% B

74% - 76% C

64% - 66% D


90% - 93 %  A-

80% - 83% B-

70% - 73% C-

60% - 63% D-





Research paper and presentation (25%-001, 15%-601:review only): Group Assignment


Students will be given a chance to present a research paper in class. You can team up with another student in the class for this assignment. Your task is to pick one research paper from the following conferences and present the paper in class:



ACM Multimedia 2006

ACM Mobicom 2006

ACM Mobihoc 2006



For each class hour, we have two groups presenting so your presentation time including Q&A will be approximately 35 minutes. The student presentation will occur toward the end of the semester and each group is required to send two choices of papers to present to the TA before OCT 24. The teaching staff will pick the final paper to present and will announce the selection in the class web site in the following weeks. All students are required to read ALL the selected papers before its presented date and submit a review of the papers being presented to the TA. The review a paper is due before the beginning of the class day when the paper is presented. The review should be at least 500 words and should contain summary, contribution, and critique.


Programming Assignments (40%): Group Assignment


You will be designing and implementing a small-scale Internet telephony system. The system consists of audio codec, RTP stack, and SIP stack. The project will be divided into 4-5 small programming assignments. For this, you need to obtain a micro-phone with a headset. You can develop your programs in any system that has audio input/output, but your program must work in Solaris under the EOS system. This is also a team project consisting of two students. If you prefer to do it by yourself, you are welcome to do that.



All on-campus students are required to attend the class. Some portion of lectures will be given as video. The following topics will be covered from video lectures (we will provide links to them): Networking basics, RTP, SIP, and RSVP. It is your responsibility to review these lectures and the material covered in these lectures will be required for your programming assignments and also in exams.



Web site

A web page has been created for the class. Its URL is

This page will be used as a permanent repository for:

·         day-by-day schedule of lectures,

·         homework and project assignments, due dates and solutions,

·         class notes, and

·         course announcements.

We will make extensive use of the Web page, so please check it regularly.

NO hard copies of assignments or solutions will be handed out. Instead, new assignments/solutions will be announced in the class and in the mailing list. You should then access the Web page where an online version of the new assignment/solution will be available.

All students are responsible for the content of course announcements made by e-mail.


Makeup policy

If you miss the midterm, then your midterm grade will be the same as your final. No make-up exam will be given for the midterm. For the final exam, if you have university-defined excuses, we will give a make-up exam if it can be taken before the last date for the grade submission. Otherwise, you will receive zero for your final exam.


Submission policy

The programs, reports, and paper reviews must also be submitted using the submit utility. The due date of the report will be discussed in class.


Late policy

Review Assignments
No late reviews will be accepted without a valid excuse.

Programming Assignments
No late deliverables will be accepted without a valid excuse.


About instructor

Injong Rhee received his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Kyung Pook National University, Korea in 1989 and PhD in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994. He also held a research staff position at Warwick University, UK for one year in 1994 and subsequently at Emory University, USA for two years before joining the Computer Science Department of North Carolina State University in 1997 where he is currently associate professor.  From 2000 to 2002, Injong was on leave from his university position to found Togabi Technologies, INC, a startup company that specializes in developing and marketing multimedia applications and services for wireless Internet. He served as CTO/CEO of the company before returning to his academic position in 2003.

He is a recipient of NSF CAREER award and a member of ACM.