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A Floor Control Server in a Distributed Conference Service

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Title: A Floor Control Server in a Distributed Conference Service
Author(s): Koponen, Aila Helena
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Computer Science
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2008
The conferencing systems in IP Multimedia (IM) networks are going through restructuring, accomplished in the near future. One of the changes introduced is the concept of floors and floor control in its current form with matching entity roles. The Binary Floor Control Protocol (BFCP) is a novelty to be exploited in distributed tightly coupled conferencing services. The protocol defines the floor control server (FCS), which implements floor control giving access to shared resources. As the newest tendency is to distribute the conferencing services, the locations of different functionality units play an important role in developing the standards. The floor control server location is not yet single-mindedly fixed in different standardization bodies, and the debate goes on where to place it within the media server, providing the conferencing service. The thesis main objective is to evaluate two distinctive alternatives in respect the Mp interface protocol between the respective nodes, as the interface in relation to floor control is under standardization work at the moment. The thesis gives a straightforward preamble in IMS network, nodes of interest including floor control server and conferencing. Knowledge on several protocols – BFCP, SDP, SIP and H.248 provides an important background for understanding the functionality changes introduced in the Mp interface and therefore introductions on those protocols and how they are connected to the full picture is given. The actual analysis on the impact of the floor control server into the Mp reference point is concluded in relation to the locations, giving basic flows, requirements analysis including a limited implementation proposal on supporting protocol parameters. The overall conclusion of the thesis is that even if both choices are seemingly useful, not one of the locations is clearly the most suitable in the light of this work. The thesis suggests a solution having both possibilities available to be chosen from in separate circumstances, realized with consistent standardization. It is evident, that if the preliminary assumption for the analysis is kept regarding to only one right place for the floor control server, more work is to be done in connected areas to discover the one most appropriate location.

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