Ioanis Nikolaidis
Simon Fraser University
School of Engineering Science

Computing Science Department
University of Alberta


(Presentation is available in html, ps, and pdf formats.)

Monday, April 23, 2001 at 2:00 p.m. in Room ASB 9896


An activity popular to a large fraction of mankind is to listen to radio or watch TV. In some instances, the latter is a favorite pastime representing a non-trivial investment of viewer's time. The bulk of TV broadcasts is pre-recorded off-line material. The holy grail of the entertainment and media industry is to minimize distribution costs while attempting to customize content to particular audience needs. In the Internet age, users expect the Internet to be their radio and TV set as well. The industry agrees with this view owing to (a) the inexpensive nature of the delivery technology - seen more favorably as bandwidth becomes commoditized, (b) the fact that users assume a large sunken cost by purchasing 'intelligent' end-user terminal equipment (i.e., computers), and (c) with the use of packet-switching communication technologies, due to their inherent multiplexing efficiency - the key to economies of scale. It is therefore fair to say that most, if not all, content distribution services will be eventually moved over to a packet-switched infrastructure, with the most obvious candidate being the Internet, in some possibly enhanced form.

The content of the talk will be motivated by the failure of early video-on-demand deployment schemes. It will then introduce earlier, often neglected, attempts to create on-demand data delivery based on cyclic broadcast schedules. We will see how the database research re-discovered such schemes and how a new race for the best broadcast scheduling scheme ensued. We will then see how in the last three years, ad-hoc broadcast schedule inventions became well-formulated problems that were solved in a theoretically sound fashion, some of them as result of our research activity. We will also discuss how the broadcast solutions can be transformed into on-demand multicast solutions such that they fit an Internet-wide deployment and illustrate which, if any, resource reservation schemes fit the bill as far as supporting guaranteed delivery of content.


Ioanis Nikolaidis is an Assistant Professor with the Computing Science Department at the University of Alberta. He received his B.Sc. from the University of Patras, Greece, in 1989 and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Computer Science Department at Georgia Tech in 1991 and 1994, respectively. During 1995-96 he worked for the European Computer-Industry Research Center in Munich, Germany. His research interests include the performance evaluation of computer network protocols.

Last updated Wednesday May 23 17:18:16 PDT 2001.