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Introduction: People interact with multimedia every day:
reading books, watching television, listening to music. We
organize and structure this multimedia, such that we can easily
access it again. We create photo albums of our holidays, we
keep racks of compact discs and tapes with the music we like,
we store past editions of magazines in boxes, and use a video
recorder to record television programs about topics of our
interest. Typically, these multimedia collections end up in old
shoeboxes on the attic, guaranteeing pleasure and fun when
re-discovered many years later.
Since the introduction of multimedia in personal computers, it
has become more common everyday to digitize part of the
multimedia data around us. A major advantage of digitized data
over shoeboxes is that digitized data can be shared easily with
others. People now create their own homepages on the world
wide web (WWW), partially as a tool to manage the information
they collect. But, browsing the web makes clear that a
computer with a web server is not the best tool to share your
shoebox data. It is not easy for others to nd your data, and,
the information pointed at by search engines is often incorrect,
or has been moved to another location. A better solution to
create large collections of digitized data is to organize the data
in (multimedia) digital libraries.
A digital library supports effective interaction among
knowledge producers, librarians, and information and
knowledge seekers [AY96]. Adam and Yesha et al. characterize
a digital library as a collection of distributed autonomous sites
that work together to give the consumer the appearance of a
single cohesive collection. A digital library should be accessible
through the WWW as well, but it can provide much better
support for searching and sharing the data, because it is not
completely unstructured like the WWW. The popularity of socalled portal sites, and the increasing amount of domain-

specic search engines appearing on the web, also indicate

that better organization of data available in the WWW is
necessary to make it accessible. This research project
investigates the potential role of database management
systems in software architectures for the creation and
operation of multimedia digital libraries. Database technology
has provided means to store and retrieve high volumes of data
in the business domain. But, database systems have always
been designed for the management of alphanumeric data such
as names and numbers. Recently, researchers have started to
think about multimedia databases. Unfortunately, anything
that simply stores multimedia data is called a multimedia
database. The capabilities of such databases sufce for typical
applications of real estate and travel businesses, as these
systems only deal with the presentation of otherwise statically
used information. But, a general-purpose multimedia database
management system should provide much more functionality
than just storage and presentation. This project is an attempt to
dene what properties can be expected from a multimedia
database system.

What is Multimedia?
A clear and unambiguous denition of multimedia cannot easily
be found and given. When going through books and articles,
youll discover that the same underlying meaning isnt always
intended, when the term multimedia is used. Most denitions,
however, seem to convert to the same meaning.
Multimedia is used by everyone. When someone is telling about
an experience and uses both speech and gestures, then this is
a form of multimedia communication. Within some branches,
like telecommunication and publishing, there exists a different
meaning for the term medium and consequently also for the
word multimedia. This might cause confusion about the
meaning of the word multimedia.

According to Negroponte [Jansen], multimedia is the coming

together of 3 business branches: the media world, the
telecommunications branch and the computer industry.
Because of this diverse historical background multimedia
applications cannot easily be characterised. When studying
several multimedia applications, features from these branches
can be discovered in various proportions.
The background of the media is providing information.
Publishing companies mainly supply text, graphics and images,
while the television broadcasts sound and moving images. The
telecommunication facilitates communication between people,
and the computer industry directs to structured data, like
numbers and text.
The market for multimedia applications is, among others, the
IT-industry, publishing, amusement, health-care, education and
marketing. The nature of these applications is as diverse as the
market. Often fast communication plays a crucial role.
Multimedia applications you may be able to think of are
electronic publishing like multimedia-encyclopedias, computer
games, medical information systems (patient records with Xrays), computer based training (CBT) and tele-education,
company and product presentations, and not forgetting surng
the Web: Internet. The latter has almost become synonymous
with multimedia.
These applications sometimes ll a new market based on new
needs. Multimedia also operates on existing markets, like the
one of computer games with better and flashier computer
games. For marketing it serves as extension for the current
advertisement media. Interactive home shopping is just an
extension to the existing mail ordering services.
Multimedia is intended to make communication more clear.
Illustrations are used for this purpose, and also to make it more
attractive. It shouldnt, however, distract from the real
message. Often multimedia techniques are used without
beforehand considering the benets compared with traditional

The use of multimedia techniques within an application should

create a certain surplus value. Otherwise one takes the risk that
it will hardly be used, or even not at all. Unfortunately the
effects of multimedia are hard to quantify.
Sometimes it is even impossible to express them in terms of
reduced costs or increased prots. The prevailing opinion is,
however, that multimedia causes a more effective transfer of
information by integrating data in different presentation forms
When analysing the meaning of the word multimedia, it should
mean something like consisting of many or multiple types of
media. This denition is comparable with the one Kay and
Izumida give for multimedia information in a database context.
According to the Masters Thesis of Suijker on IBMs Digital
Library [Suijker], multimedia information is text (alphanumeric
information), images, video (fragments) and audio (fragments).
He also points out that, according to some, multimedia data
excludes the alphanumeric type.
Until now the denition of multimedia hasnt been more than
the series of datatypes it can consist of. What distinguishes
Multimedia from a collection of datatypes? Suijker describes the
concept Multimedia itself as computers using different kinds of
audio-visual means to let people use information as natural a
way as possible.
In Toward Multimedia, Cheyney et al. put the emphasis on the
integrated whole of text, graphic, audio and video information.
A multimedia application should contain extensive provisions
for random access and hypermedia linking. The essence of
multimedia relates to the integration of different presentation
forms or information types. The types are the same as the
With integration one means synchronised and interlarded.
Another will dene integration in this context as a strong
relation between the data by means of links and references
(e.g. hyperlinks). In this sense they seem to agree with

According to the above information, multimedia varies from a

collection of multiple kinds of information types via this same
collection presented as an integrated whole to a natural and
human-like interaction with the computer.

What is Multimedia Database System?

Part of a multimedia application is the data. The diversity of
multimedia data can be categorised in several ways:
Time-Dependency- : Time-dependent data has a duration in
time like sound and video, this is not the case with timeindependent data like images or text.
Dimensions-: Spatial (3D) occurring with GIS and CAD/CAM
and non-spatial data (2D) can be distinguished from each other.
By sense-: By which organ of sense it can be perceived, like
ear (sound), eye (image), both or possibly other senses.
Another classication of data, by Lorie, is based on how the
data is formatted. All these kinds currently exist in the
application areas of advanced database systems [Gudivada96]:
Formatted Structure-: Traditional alphanumeric data
structured heterogeneous data about an object is stored and
retrieved together as with structures or records in programming
Complex-: Structured data with a variable number of
Unformatted-: String data whose structure is not understood
by the DBMS, like the BLOB (Binary Large Object).
A very rough denition of multimedia information within a
database context is given by Kay and Izumida [Kay]: consisting
of one or more (according to some: two or more) of the
following forms: image, text, diagram, graphical animation,
sound and moving pictures.
According to some denitions, a multimedia database is a
database which contains one or more types of information.
According to others, at least two types are needed, because

otherwise it isnt possible to use multi. In my opinion, this

denition should be extended with the addition that a
multimedia database potentially can contain multiple media
When storing images and text there are already two types
involved. Most people will associate multimedia with flashy
presentations with sound, video, images and supporting text.
Ideally multimedia data will be stored in a suitable DBMS in a
standardized and integrated manner. A multimedia database
should provide support for multimedia applications as well as
possible. This can be by offering fast search coupled with the
ability to handle a large variety of queries. According to
Blanken and Apers [Blanken] databases provide more and more
support for multimedia applications.
Until recently there was hardly any multimedia database
support available. More than the BLOB wasnt available in most
DBMS. Now this has almost become a standard feature.
A BLOB isnt considered to be an object, but is unstructured
binary data [Kay, Colton94, Colton95]. This raw data can be
anything. The database system doesnt know the underlying
datatype and has no knowledge about the internal format of it.
For this reason, the database system doesnt know what
operations are possible.
As no operations are provided by the DBMS, also no internal
components can be retrieved and no indices can be created on
it. The only thing a DBMS can do is store and retrieve it as a
whole. In this sense, a BLOB seems to be an unsuitable
datatype for storing multimedia information.
Another way of looking at multimedia databases is by which
characteristics are important and how it distinguishes itself
from traditional databases. Kay and Izumida [Kay], Blanken and
Apers [Blanken] and Faloutsos et al. [Faloutsos] have described
a number of them. Also the work of Huijsmans and Lew
[Huijsmans] and that of Ma and Manjunath [Ma] more
specically look at image database characteristics. Smoliar and
Zhang [Smoliar] look at the accessibility of video content.

Isochronality and time-dimension of data: Continuous and

synchronised delivery of the data is important for moving
pictures and sound. Further, synchronisation of sub-objects.
Continuous and synchronised delivery of the data is important
for moving pictures and sound. Further, synchronisation of subobjects.
Internal structure: Although multimedia information often is
considered unstructured, it really has a very complex structure.
Size of the objects (and databases): Traditional database
systems were designed to work with millions of records varying
from a few bytes to kilobytes. The size of multimedia items can
be immense (megabytes or even gigabytes) and results in
large- scale databases (petabytes).
External structure: This consists of relations between
different media, often via so called hyperlinks.
Query: In a multimedia database it often isnt the purpose to
retrieve facts, but to nd documents in order to get at the facts.
Combination of various query mechanisms.
Navigate and browse: Access and ad hoc-retrieval based on
links. User-guided navigation.
Long transactions and high concurrence: Many users have
access to the same large multimedia items at the same time,
mostly by reading (updates are scarce) and viewing.
Presentation: The importance of the presentation and a
(visual) query and user interface is often neglected.

There are number of data types that can be characterized as

multimedia data types. These are typically the elements for the
building blocks of ore generalized multimedia environments,
platforms, or integrating tools. The basic types can be
described as follows :
Text : The form in which the text can be stored can vary
greatly. In addition to ASCII based les, text is typically stored
in processor les, spreadsheets, databases and annotations on

more general multimedia objects. With availability and

proliferation of GUIs, text fonts the job of storing text is
becoming complex allowing special effects(color, shades..).
Images : There is great variance in the quality and size of
storage for still images. Digitalized images are sequence of
pixels that represents a region in the users graphical display.
The space overhead for still images varies on the basis of
resolution, size, complexity, and compression scheme used to
store image. The popular image formats are jpg, png, bmp, tiff.
Audio : An increasingly popular datatype being integrated in
most of applications is Audio. Its quite space intensive. One
minute of sound can take up to 2-3 Mbs of space. Several
techniques are used to compress it in suitable format.
Video : One on the most space consuming multimedia data
type is digitalized video. The digitalized videos are stored as
sequence of frames. Depending upon its resolution and size a
single frame can consume up to 1 MB. Also to have realistic
video playback, the transmission, compression, and
decompression of digitalized require continuous transfer rate.
Graphic Objects: These consists of special data structures
used to dene 2D and 3D shapes through which we can dene
multimedia objects. These includes various formats used by
image, video editing applications. Examples are CAD / CAM

Features of Multimedia Database Systems

The multimedia database systems are to be used when it is
required to administrate a huge amounts of multimedia data
objects of different types of data media (optical storage, video
tapes, audio records, etc.) so that they can be used (that is,
efficiently accessed and searched) for as many applications as
The Objects of Multimedia Data are: text, images, graphics,
sound recordings, video recordings, signals, etc., that are
digitalized and stored.

Multimedia Data are to be compared in the following way:








10KB (5
10 KB



1 MB









600 MB
2 GB (30




The need and efficiency of MM-DBS are to

be defined by following requirements:
Basic service:
To be used for multiple applications
Not applicable as a real end-user system (like program

Storage and retrieval of MM-Data:

For the Storage:
Input of MM objects
Composition (to multimedia objects) (example: authoring
Archive of data (in hardware and format independent way)

For the Retrieval:

Support of complex search


Efficiency (indices etc.)

Evaluation (aggregation, ltering)
Also conversions (needed to gain or lead to hardware and
format independence)

For the Update

Only replace or also edit? (The complexity depends on).

Multimedia Database Systems have to be

1. Support of multimedia data types, i.e. data types as data
structures, including type of data and operations
2. Capability to manage very numerous multimedia objects,
store them and search for them
3. To include a suitable memory management system, to
improve performance, high capacity, cost optimization
4. Database system features:
Transaction concept
Multi-user capability
Ad-hoc queries
Integrity constrains (which leads to consistency)
5. Information retrieval features:
Attribute-based search
Content-based search


Integrity Constrains for MM-DB Applications

The following features are typical for MMDB:
Unique, Primary-key Constraints
Referential integrity
Via foreign keys (RM)
Via OIDs (OO)
Existential integrity
NOT NULL constraints
Integrity rules (check clauses)

Specifically for OO:

Pre- and post-conditions for methods
Constraints of the class hierarchy
Partition conditions (Dis-jointness constraints)

Advantages of Multimedia Database Systems:

integrated administration of huge amounts of multimedia
optimized storage
Efficient access
Many fold complex search possibilities
Referential integrity of links
Transaction protected multiuser mode

Disadvantages Of Multimedia Database



Conceptually it should be possible to treat multimedia data in

the same way as data based on the data types (e.g. numbers,
dates and characters).
The content of multimedia data is often captured with
different capture techniques (e.g., image processing) that
may be rather unreliable. Multimedia processing techniques
need to be able to handle different ways of content capture
including automated ways and/or manual methods.
Queries posed by the user in multimedia databases often
cannot come back with a textual answer. Rather, the answer to
a query may be a complex multimedia presentation that the
user can browse at his/her leisure. Our framework shows how
queries to multimedia databases may be used to generate
multimedia presentations that satisfy users queries-a factor
that is unique to our framework.
Multimedia data is large and affects the storage, retrieval and
transmission of multimedia data.
In case of video and audio databases time to retrieve
information may be critical ex(Video on demand).
Automatic feature extraction and Indexing: In conventional
databases user explicitly submits the attribute values of objects
inserted into the database. In contrast, advanced tools such as
image processing and pattern recognition tools for images, to
extract the various features and content of multimedia objects.
As size of data is very large we need special data structures for
storing and indexing.

Multimedia-DB applications:
Fields of application:
Retrieval / Information / Archive
(Libraries, video on demand, information systems, press,
hospitals) Databases, information retrieval


Static/active Education / Commercials/ Entertainment

(School, university, professional training, games, commercials)
CSE, Teachware, Courseware, CBT,
Dynamic/passive Writing / Publications/ Design
(Press, engineering, architecture) Editors, layout generators,
Dynamic/active Controlling/Monitoring
(Factories, traffic, weather forecast, military) Process control


Because technology continues to change dramatically, the
different data types may require special methods for optimal
storage, access, indexing, and retrieval. Information retrieval is
dependent upon the design and implementation of systems.
Data Availability
Candan, Lemar & Subrahmanian [2011] stated that multimedia
objects have temporal and spatial aspects that do not exist in
more traditional data objects; therefore, visualization of the
results of a multimedia query requires specication of the
visualization parameters along with the query. Some of the
multimedia databases are searchable with search engines on
their own website; some offer data les that teachers may
download to their own computers. As a result, it may take time
and expertise for teachers to search and locate relevant and
useful databases.
The International Journal of Multimedia & Its Applications (IJMA)
Vol.3, No.1, February 2011
File Format and Size


As mentioned, multimedia data is comprised of text, images,

graphics, video, audio, etc. There is an overwhelming number
of le representations for these different types of data,
DOC, GIF, EPS, PNG, etc. Because of restrictions on the
conversion from one format to the other, the use of the data in
a specic format has been limited as well.
In addition to the fact that multimedia objects are complex in
their le formats, they are large too. For example, each of the
following takes 1 Megabyte of storage in uncompressed form:
six seconds of CD-quality audio, a single 640x480 color image
with 24 bits/pixel, a single frame of (1/30 second) CIF video, or
one digital X-ray image (1024x1024) with 8 bits/pixel.

Data Storage and Retrieval

A multimedia database system includes a multimedia database
management system and a multimedia database. The database
management system manages the multimedia database; a
multimedia database is the multimedia data being managed.
Why is a database needed? It is for storing and retrieving data
more efficiently.
Multimedia information (e.g., text, graphics, audio, video, etc.)
has to be managed differently depending on the type of data.
However, efficient retrieval of data depends on the database
system. Inefficiencies of traditional retrieval approaches could
result in a demand for teachers to understand techniques that
can manipulate the multimedia data.
Search Engines
Current multimedia databases play an important role on the
Web. There is the desire for Internet multimedia search engines
capable of searching and locating the relevant sources
containing the desired media types given a description of the
specic content. Therefore, teachers will want to know how to
search and manage multimedia data on both the Internet and


intranet, and how to keep up with the explosive increase in

multimedia databases.
Teachers Technology Skills and Attitude
As technology develops, the use of technology in a classroom
has become a main concern. However, many teachers would
have a hard time consolidating their skills in the use of the
existing technologies for classroom instruction, and the high
uncertainty of emerging technologies makes it even more
difficult for teachers to develop the level of expertise needed to
incorporate technology into the classroom. As a result,
students classroom practice may not meet student
expectation, especially in the area of integration and use of
multimedia because todays students are often far more skilled
at using digital media than most of their teachers. Torrisi-Steele
stated, The effective integration of multimedia in the
curriculum depends not on the technology itself but rather on
educators knowledge, assumptions, and perceptions.


As Web applications grow, the need for efficient multimedia
databases will become essential. Knowing how to effectively
access various databases will become increasingly important
for teachers as well.
Pedagogical Concerns
Today's technologies make possible the use of multimedia by
helping to move learning beyond a primarily text-based and
linear arena into the cyclical world of sights, sounds, creativity,
and interactivity. But, the challenge is whether the essence of
multimedia can be integrated into an essential discipline. If
some pedagogical design principles can be used effectively,
multimedia can permit greater individualization, in turn
fostering improved learning, learner satisfaction, and retention
With the large amount of information in databases, it is
necessary for teachers to guide students through meaningful


learning activities so that they can learn how to use databases

to facilitate their own thinking. Jonassen(1917) suggests some
strategies for classroom applications, for example, teaching
with databases should proceed gradually, starting from having
students work with completed databases, to partially
completed databases and then to databases created by
students themselves. This process suggests how to provide
different scaffolding to students with different database skills.
Students critical thinking and problem-solving skills should be
developed gradually from learning with guidance.
Data Searching
As more multimedia information becomes available, the need
for efficient browsing, searching, and retrieving of information
increases. Petkovic & Jonker described the increasing demand
to manipulate the data based on the content. Furthermore,
Johnson [18] indicated that three approaches can be used to
represent the content of multimedia data.
They are: keyword-based, feature-based, and concept-based
Keyword-based approach: The multimedia content is
described by the user through annotations.
Feature-based approach:
A set of features can be used for representing and retrieving
the multimedia data. Many multimedia databases allow users
to query a database by specifying keywords and/or image
characteristics. For example: general information like color,
texture, shape, speed, position, or particular applications like
ngerprint recognition or medical images.
Concept-based approach:
Concepts are subsequently used to interpret the content of the
data and to retrieve the data itself. This is usually an
application domain specic process and occasionally requires
the intervention of the user.


For efficient browsing and searching, querying the multimedia

database is an important part of a database system. According
to Kalipsiz, multimedia data queries can be divided into four
different types.
They are: a) Keyword query, b) Semantic query, c) Visual
query, and d) Video query. Keyword querying only uses welldened queries, while semantic and visual querying are
designed to use the fuzzy (more approximate, less precise)
query method.
Querying in a multimedia database is quite different from
querying in standard alphanumeric databases. If querying
conventional databases, which consist of text or numerical
data, a query is often represented in the form of text or a
numerical value. Besides the fact that browsing takes on added
importance in a multimedia environment, queries can contain
multimedia objects input by the user; the results of these
queries are based not on perfect matches but on degrees of
While a content-based approach is preferable in a multimedia
database system, Yoshitaka & Ichikawa further indicated a
query-by-example approach for content-based representation,
which is a method of query specication and allows a user to
specify a query by giving examples. For example, an image
object is retrieved by the shape of objects, by specifying colors
and their spatial distribution in the image, or by a specic
pattern appearing in an image.


MOBILE CLOUD COMPUTING (MCC) Cloud computing is the
next big thing in the current market scenario. Cloud computing
is not only related to personal computers, it also affects and
heavily impact the mobile technology. In Mobile Cloud
Computing both the data storage and the data processing
happen outside of the mobile device i.e. when we combined
concept of cloud computing in mobile environment. In MCC
scenario all the computing power and data storage move into


the mobile cloud. MCC will not provide benets only to the
smart phone users but for will help a broader range of mobile
subscriber. With MCC mobile phone user will get benet in
number of ways and help them to run their business application
without large amount of capital investment in infrastructure
and services.

Applications requiring content-based retrieval are the support
for user-dened datatypes, including user-dened functions,
and ways to call these functions from within SQL. Contentbased retrieval models can be incorporated within databases
using these extensibility options: the internal structure and
content of multimedia objects can be represented in DBMSs as
abstract datatypes, and similarity models can be implemented
as user-dened functions. Most major DBMSs now support
multimedia extensions (either developed in house or by thirdparty developers) that consist of predened multimedia
datatypes, and commonly used functions on those types
including functions that support similarity retrieval. Examples of


such extensions include the Image Data blade supported by the

Informix Universal Server, and the QBIC extender of DB2.

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