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Press Release

Contact:
Anne Watzman
412-268-3830

For immediate release:
October 3, 2002

Carnegie Mellon to Showcase Innovative New Technology for Live Internet Broadcasts

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University researchers will use a new technology called End System Multicast (ESM) to transmit interactive audio and video to Internet viewers around the world next week, when they conduct a live, Internet broadcast of the Council on Competitiveness National Symposium on Competitiveness and Security being held in Pittsburgh, Oct. 8-9.

For event details and agenda, see: www.compete.org.

For instructions to view the symposium and more information on ESM, see: www.cs.cmu.edu/~ESM-streaming.

ESM enables live streaming over the Internet through a unique, distributed coordination mechanism that permits viewers' Internet-connected computers, referred to here as end systems, to self-organize into a data distribution tree structure. The tree structure continuously adapts to network dynamics, to ensure the highest bandwidth and lowest latency available for audio and video streams distribution.

Since end systems cooperate and contribute their computation and bandwidth resources, ESM has the potential to scale to any number of users. In contrast to IP multicast-based and content delivery service-based solutions, ESM requires no special router support or infrastructure servers. ESM is instantly deployable by end users and it is cost-effective because there is no need for the broadcaster to make provision for powerful streaming servers and high-bandwidth Internet access.

End System Multicast technology has been under development with the support of the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) since 1999. Its creation was pioneered by a Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science research team led by Associate Professor Hui Zhang. They demonstrated the feasibility of ESM by broadcasting this year's Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGCOMM Conference, which was held in Pittsburgh August 21. More than 300 computer users around the country viewed the conference proceedings using this system.

"A wide range of group communication applications such as audio and video conferencing, multi-party Internet games, and distance learning are emerging today," said Zhang. "Efficient network support is a key requirement for the wide-spread deployment of these applications.

"Conventional wisdom says that IP is the natural protocol layer for implementing these multicast-related functions, but 10 years after its initiation, IP Multicast is still plagued with problems relating to scalability, network management, deployment, and support for things like errors, flow and congestion control.

"With ESM, the shifting of multicast support from routers to end systems has the potential to address most problems associated with IP Multicast." The Council on Competitiveness is a Washington, D.C.-based, non-partisan, nonprofit forum of leaders from the business, university and labor communities working together to boost U.S. economic competitiveness and raise the standard of living for all Americans.

Merck CEO and Council on Competitiveness Chairman Raymond Gilmartin and Carnegie Mellon University President Jared Cohon will co-host CEOs from some of America's largest companies, along with academicians, labor leaders and government officials at this unprecedented national symposium to discuss prospects for economic growth in the new environment of heightened security costs for American companies.

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