Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Sitharama S. Iyengar


Computer communication demands for higher bandwidth and smaller delays are increasing rapidly as the march into the twenty-first century gains momentum. These demands are generated by visualization applications which model complex real time phenomena in visual form, electronic document imaging and manipulation, concurrent engineering, on-line databases and multimedia applications which integrate audio, video and data. The convergence of the computer and video worlds is leading to the emergence of a distributed multimedia environment. This research investigates an integrated approach in the design of a high speed computer-video local area network for a distributed multimedia environment. The initial step in providing multimedia services over computer networks is to ensure bandwidth availability for these services. The bandwidth needs based on traffic generated in a distributed multimedia environment is computationally characterized by a model. This model is applied to the real-time problem of designing a backbone for a distributed multimedia environment at the NASA Classroom of the Future Program. The network incorporates legacy LANs and the latest high speed switching technologies. Performance studies have been conducted with different network topologies for various multimedia application scenarios to establish benchmarks for the operation of the network. In these performance studies it has been observed that network topologies play an important role in ensuring that sufficient bandwidth is available for multimedia traffic. After the implementation of the network and the performance studies, it was found that for true quality of service guarantees, some modifications will have to be made in the multimedia operating systems used in client workstations. These modifications would gather knowledge of the channel between source and destination and reserve resources for multimedia communication based on specified requirements. A scheme for reserving resources in a network consisting legacy LAN and ATM is presented to guarantee quality of service for multimedia applications.