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This paper presents our work on developing an architecture for multicasting real-time MPEG4 over IP networks that provide service differentiation. In particular, this work is targeted at assured forwarding (AF) style services. This work is an attempt to find a simple solution to the problem of multicast congestion control of real-time traffic by exploiting the service differentiation capabilities of AF networks. Our architecture assumes loss differentiation in the network and assumes the network's ability to provide explicit congestion notification messages to the sender. We do not consider policing/shaping at the edge routers. Rather, we consider a more general case where packet marking and flow control are provided at the senders. For this network model, we built an end-to-end architecture and developed a rate-adaptation algorithm that can operate in both unicast and multicast applications with a minor modification. The simulation results show how the rate-adaptation algorithm accommodates different receivers with different networking capabilities and provides receivers with different levels of quality by taking advantage of the queue management capabilities of the AF service. We test how the architecture scales to a large number of receivers, how multiple multicast sessions interact, and how it interacts with TCP.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2005