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Abstract -- The UNITE Project: Distributed Delivery and Contribution of Multimedia Objects over the Internet
A3: Distributed Systems
The UNITE Project: Distributed Delivery and Contribution of Multimedia Objects over the Internet
- Deniau, Cedric
- Swink, Michael
- Aust, Ron
- Evans, Joe
- Gauch, Susan
- Miller, Jim
- Niehaus, Douglas
Over the past few years, the world has seen a growing interest in the
Internet. E-mail initiated this interest and was the biggest traffic
generator for several years. As the Internet grew in popularity,
other tools emerged: ftp, gopher, archie, and the World-Wide Web.
Connectivity to the Internet blossomed from a few computer specialists
at research institutions to include businesses, schools, and home
users. At the same time, the ability to create, store, and view
multimedia information became widespread. Today, we see a
proliferation of sites storing and distributing multimedia information
on an ever-increasing range of topics to an exploding number of users.
This paper describes the UNITE system which provides browsing and
search of taxonomically indexed resources in a wide range of media
types (text, images, hypercard stacks, etc.). The server
provides remote access to Science and Mathematics
curricular materials by teachers and students in K-12, however it can
be easily adapted to work with any taxonomically structured domain.
The server software supports mirroring, which helps distribute the
client load, and enables the client to try alternative servers if its
first choice is unavailable.
The server can interoperate with standard WWW browsers (Mosaic,
Netscape) but, in addition, we have developed our own client software.
Since most of our users connect to the Internet via modems, the UNITE
client has features which reduce network load, and thus improve
performance on low bandwidth networks. It also provides a more
tailored user interface to the system resources than is available from
standard browsers. Finally, users are active participants in the
project. Through a review mechanism, they can contribute new
resources to the database.
This research and development was supported through funding from the
U.S. Department of Education OERI
office (R203A20020) that was administered by the
Great Lakes Telecommunications Collaborative.