Final Report for the Project


Jon Crowcroft and Roy Bennett.


The Mbone, HP 725/50 Workstation, Cameras, Mikes, etc.





The EMMA project was intended to "enhance the multicast software in terms of scaling, resource management and regulation of use, and then to bring wide area multimedia communications to the HE community. We intend to set up the UK-MBONE among HE institutions, and to provide system and application software, and technical support."

Multimedia communications is one of the key technologies for the future, and can bring substantial benefits to the HE community. However, the current multicast has to be enhanced before we can make wide area multimedia communications available for regular use.

The Mbone offers a low-entry-cost alternative to the circuit based (typically leased line or ISDN) mechanisms used on the SuperJANET network to support videoconferencing using legacy H.261 hardware CODECs (such as those used in the Surgery teaching project, Insurrect). In contrast, EMMA uses PC and Unix workstation-based audio, video and shared workspace tools.


The specific goals of EMMA have been the deployment and support of an infrastructure to use these tools effectively. This initially required support for multicast IP routing, and was thought to need resource reservation. It transpires that the UK academic IP network is so well engineered and provisioned at most sites that national access to medium quality video and good quality audio (e.g. for remote language teaching) is straightforward and has not need the resource reservation mechanisms yet (but will do when the technology is very widely used and threatens to swamp the network capacity - this is a year or two away yet).

There are a number of closely related research, development and operational projects with which we have liaised to make our work more effective:

  1. The JANET IP Service has a managed Mbone service run by the London Network Team, at ULCC. This provides backbone services from the NOC sites for multicast traffic. We provided technical input on the set-up and continual monitoring of the quality and configuration of the JIPS Mbone. In addition to the NOC sites, there are 53 SuperJANET SMDS sites, and a further 200 sites with lower bandwidth access which we can offer advice to on how to gain access to the multicast backbone.

  1. The MICE Project at UCL provided multicast conferencing tools for European researchers. We worked closely with the MICE researchers at UCL, especially following the set-up of the MICE National Centres in late 1994. In particular, we document the tools, and provide a service in porting them to platforms outside the MICE project requirements. We also provide customised advice on audio/video configurations and toolsets for particular sites. This is an ongoing effort. MICE also provided the support for international Mbone access. Since the completion of that project we have worked with its successor project, MERCI.

Prior to the funding of the UK MICE-NSCs by UKERNA in April 1995, we alone provided the support service; since then we have worked closely with the NSCs. Details of the achievements of the EMMA project, in advising users and demonstrating the Mbone tools, have been given in previous annual reports and are summarised in the Appendix.

  1. An EPSRC project, FUME, together with a PhD student funded by Bellcore in the US, are working on leading edge multicast and resource reservation tools for TCP/IP and for ATM. The multicast routing protocol developed is being proposed by Fore Systems as the main tool for IP over ATM multicast (the SuperJANET technology of choice). This is something that we must keep track of since it will be important in the backbone configuration next year.

  1. ARPA funded work at UCL is progressing integrated network support for multimedia applications - this is lower layer work, and we regard the EMMA role as simply tracking this effort.

Goals Not Achieved.

We have not deployed a successor to DVMRP as yet, although UCL is actively testing the Beta release of the PIM (Protocol Independent Multicast, both Dense and Sparse Mode) as implemented by ISI and Cisco for Sun Workstations and routers; we are also testing the Gated version of CBT (Core Based Trees). We have also devised a more scaleable version of the PIM routing system called HPIM, which can offer policy control of multicast multimedia traffic, and can be used to integrate multicast routing for IP and for IP over ATM.

We have deployed the Mbone over ATM in some places, although this has been slower in reaching service level than hoped for. We have also deployed RSVP (the resource Reservation Protocol) on a limited testbed at UCL. This allows host computers to request guaranteed services for users (possibly for groups). It is not anticipated that IPv6, the next version of the Internet Protocol, has any bearing on the use multimedia conferencing technology in the UK (at least for some years to come), so we have not explored that angle of the project, beyond tracking the standards and very early testbed experiments in the US and France (at INRIA).

The Future.

Continuing projects at UCL mean that we will be in a position, albeit at a limited level, to continue to support dissemination of this technology, and due to renewed funding or the MICE National Support Centre, we can respond to queries for help from any UK Academic or related site.


EMMA Contacts 1994-1996

by origin and type of request

All Sources

Universities627 6 443
Other Higher Education2 3 5
Schools2 2
Research 9 71 219
Government26 8
Commercial319 11 529
Media7 18
Other14 1 17
Total1477 1015 113121

UK sources only

Universities322 5 333
Other Higher Education1 2 3
Schools1 1
Research 5 51 112
Government22 4
Commercial314 1 422
Media7 18
Other13 15
Total1056 0011 11088

IE Initial EnquirySR Software Request CR Consultancy Request
IR Information RequestBR Bug report PR Progress Report
O Other

Detailed listing


Initial Enquiry

09/02/95 Richard Taylor Department of Physics & Astronomy, UCL

14/07/95 Theo Theoharis, University of Athens, Greece

17/11/94 Prof. Roy L. Gordon, M.D., San Francisco, USA

26/01/96 Y.Patel, Imperial College, UK

27/10/94 Avril Smith / Geoff Tag, Oxford Brookes University, UK

29/05/96 Djamel Sadok, di.ufpe.br, Brazil

Information Request

01/05/95 George Neisser, Manchester Computing Centre, UK

01/12/95 Amanda Stone, Nottingham Trent Valley, UK

03/04/95 Matthew Rhodes, University of Cambridge, UK

03/07/95 Tan, Electronics Research group, University of Aberdeen, UK

05/10/95 KF Md Hatah, Malaysia

06/04/95 Warwick Smith, Dept of Phonetics, UCL, UK

08/05/95 Palak Shah, University of Bradford, UK

09/04/95 A Sadka, University of Surrey, UK

11/10/95 Piers Messum, Language Centre, UCL, UK

12/06/95 F. Ribeiro Gouveia, NIAR, Universidade do Porto, Portugal

16/02/95 Ian Clark, Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre, Birmingham, UK

16/03/95 Lars Holowko, University of Stuttgart, Germany

17/08/95 Simon H. Bennett, Liverpool John Moores, UK

17/10/94 Kevin J Dalton PhD FRCOG, University of Cambridge, UK

19/06/95 Ian Harley, Photogrammetry & Surveying Dept, UCL, UK

20/02/95 Paul Davies, Aston Business School, UK

21/04/95 Ana Paula Amorim, TecMinho, Portugal

22/08/95 Silvester A Namuye, University of Lancaster, UK

23/01/95 M A Kimber, Anglia University, UK

24/10/95 Randa, University of Lancaster, UK

25/05/95 Dorothy Morgan, University of Westminster, UK

26/04/96 Andrew Marriot, University of Central Lancashire, UK

26/06/95 David Cartwright, University of the West of England, UK

27/03/95 P.M. Record, University of Keele, UK

27/07/95 Fergal McCaffery, University of Ulster, UK

28/06/95 Chris Davis-Pipe, University of Bristol, UK

30/05/95 Francois Petit, Mons, Belgium

Consultancy Request

01/04/95 Jan-Peter Muller, Dept Photogrammetry & Surveying, UCL, UK

10/08/95 George Neisser, Manchester Computing Centre, UK

11/12/95 Edson Moreira University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

13/01/95 Julie Plumb, The Nottingham Trent University, UK

15/06/95 Prof. Jan-Peter Muller, Dept Photogrammetry & Surveying, UCL, UK

16/05/95 George Neisser, Manchester Computing Centre, UK


05/03/96 Andy Walker, School of Computer Studies, Leeds UK

22/08/95 Michael Benson, University of Lancaster, UK

23/02/95 David Boor, MIT Media Lab, USA

24/04/96 Nathan Jeffery, CMS Research Centre, Leicester, UK

Other Higher Education

Initial Enquiry

14/01/96 Anja Flender, MA Medizinische Fakultat der RWTH Aachen, Germany

27/10/94 Beryl Howard, Northern College of Nursing, UK

Information Request

23/04/96 Alex Maclean, Royal College of Art, UK

27/10/94 Jack Goulding, Nene College, UK

27/11/95 Johan Veldkamp, Hogeschool's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands


Information Request

12/04/95 David Brettell Overseas Children's School, Sri Lanka

14/11/94 David Lauckner, Northumberland, UK


Information Request

02/03/95 John Kelleher, The Tavistock Institute, UK

10/02/95 Laurence Bradley, BT Laboratories, UK

14/12/95 Kaye Ferguson, Eisai London Research Laboratories Ltd, UK

16/05/95 Au Thien Wan, Brunei

22/03/95 Dirk-M. Harmsen, Fraunhofer Institute, Germany

22/05/95 Dr D J Coe, Philips Research Laboratories, UK

25/05/95 Markus Benkel, FH-Koeln, Institut fuer Informatik, Germany

26/06/95 Dr Rita Puzmanova, Phare PMU for Telecommunications, Czech Republic

27/03/95 Neil Macdonald, BT Labs, UK

Consultancy Request

12/05/95 Steve M Fisher, Rutherford Appleton Lab, UK

13/04/95 Steve M Fisher, Rutherford Appleton Lab, UK

14/06/95 Jose Manuel Barrutia, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland

18/04/95 Gwyllym Thomas Jones, BBSRC, UK

24/10/95 David S. Rajah BBSRC Computing Division, UK

26/03/96 Dr N.S.Crowcroft, Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Belgium

26/04/95 S G Gillies, Shell Research Ltd, UK

Progress report

23/08/95 Gwyllym Thomas Jones, BBSRC, UK


18/10/94 Bill Manning, ISI, USA

22/04/96 David Rajah, BBSRC, BITS, UK


Initial Enquiry

05/01/95 Lynn Coleman, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, UK

12/12/94 Martyn Bond, UK Office, European Parliament, UK

Information Request

03/05/95 Francisco Querol, Gobierno de Aragon, Belgium

04/09/95 Ing. Nono Carballo Escalona, CIGCT, Cuba

05/04/95 Robert Reno, Incirlik, Turkey

12/03/96 Dr. F.P.Tudor, Science & Technology Committee, House of Lords, UK

13/12/94 Jukka Behm, Industrial Attache, Embassy of Finland, UK

16/01/95 Simon Holland, C.E.C., Belgium


Initial Enquiry

07/11/94 Ken David, Mission Dynamics, Hitchin, UK

09/04/96 Claire Griffith, Look Multimedia Ltd, UK

12/12/94 James Roper, IMRG Limited, UK

Information Request

02/07/96 Stuart Anderton, Interconnect Communications Ltd, UK

03/03/95 Steven Evans, Andersens, UK

04/09/95 Johnny Boyle, MARI, Belfast, UK

05/06/95 Richard Swann, FTP Software Worldwide Inc, UK

06/04/95 Mark Bebbington, European Gas Turbines, Leics, UK

10/07/95 Dr T D Wilson, Philips Telecom, Cambridge, UK

10/07/95 George Zarkadakis DEUCALION S.A., Athens, Greece

14/04/95 David Fung, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

15/09/95 Warren Knight, Knight & Co., USA

18/05/95 Cameron Heydari, BRT SNI, UK

20/03/95 Alex Tonnet, RCP, UK

21/03/95 P Taylor, Imagecom, Maidenhead, UK

23/06/95 Philip Buckley, Sema Group, UK

25/05/95 Pascal DETERVILLE, Belgacom, Belgium

26/10/94 Dr Tony Law, SmithKline Beecham, UK

27/07/95 Warren Knight, USA

28/03/95 Ken Tough, ibmPCUG, UK

29/03/95 Gary Moore, Micrognosis, UK

31/03/95 Richard Bailey, Boldon-James Ltd, UK

Software request

26/05/95 Luc Vancraen, Periphere, Belgium

Consultancy Request

20/05/96 Pat Baker, Hewlett Packard Laboratories, UK


01/02/96 Sara Wheeler, Secretary, Reuters, UK

10/05/96 SGI/A.Sasse, SGI, UK

12/12/94 Dr David Souter, National Communications Union, UK

15/04/96 Anna Ingibergsdottir, Iceland

26/04/96 Stuart Gillies, Manager, Shell Research, UK


Information Request

08/12/94 Richard Sarson, Chief Editor, EDI Analysis, UK

09/11/94 Dr Jim Wright, IoP Publishing, Bristol, UK

14/01/95 Roger Dettmer, IEE Review, Stevenage, UK

17/01/95 Dennis Moralee, Scientific Computing World, UK

20/04/95 Joe Clark, UK

20/11/94 Geoff Spick, Internet & Comms Today, Bournemouth, UK

25/04/95 Channel 4 TV, UK


12/12/94 Lindsay Nicolle, Freelance journalist, UK


Initial Enquiry

15/12/94 David Fry, Royal College of Physicians, UK

Information Request

20/10/95 Aad van der Zande, SHAPE Technical Centre, Netherlands

20/11/94 Dr.M.Palat, South Yorkshire, UK

22/03/95 C.H. Booth, Oxford, UK

28/04/95 Beverly Harris, Bristol, UK

Consultancy Request

29/05/96 Aad van der Zande, SHAPE Technical Centre, Netherlands


26/04/95 Martin Hughes, UK