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Abstract -- Multimedia Message Distribution in a Constrained Environment Application Technology Track
A2: Low Bandwidth and Wireless Applications

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Multimedia Message Distribution in a Constrained Environment

Wijesoma, W. S. ( sardha@cse.mrt.ac.lk)
Fernando, M. S. D. ( shantha@infolabs.is.lk)
Dias, G. V. ( gihan@cse.mrt.ac.lk)

Abstract

Currently there are standards governing message handling, in particular MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions), for telecommuting mail messages encompassing a multitude of media, such as graphics images, voice data and motion video apart from plain text. However, the MIME standard presupposes certain minimum technical capabilities amongst interconnected and participating mailservers for distribution of such multimedia mail.

In particular, the interconnecting channels between mailservers should be of sufficient bandwidth to conduct the large amount of data in MIME messages at 'reasonable' rates and also the nodes must have adequate storage capacity for same. This requirement for bandwidth of channels and storage of mailservers for MIME capability prevents users connected to 'under-privileged' mailnodes from enjoying the benefits brought about by multi-media information and messaging. This may be in spite of the end users owning or having access to resource rich machines. In this paper a smart approach to routing of multi-media messages in an internetwork of mailservers, disparate in storage capacity, performance and network bandwidth, is presented. An added advantage of the approach is that it allows for the implementation of administrative policies for controlling traffic and congestion arising from MIME mail to a mailserver site and the level of MIME services made available to users connected to the site.

Further, the technique also allows for the integration of conventional and primitive messaging mechanisms, such as postal mail, courier by diskettes/tapes, and facsimile, into the realm of electronic messaging. Although, the technique is proposed mainly for low-capacity mail environments, it is to be noted that it also allows a mail site, wether it be using state-of-the-art email infrastructure today, to adapt itself to keep up with with the rapidly evolving computer and communications technology, until it is time to replace the existing infrastructure.