Quarterly News report  12 - March 2013

File: The Multimedia Document 


Multimedia refers, in general, to data such as video, image, text and audio. To know how to handle multimedia information is nowadays an increasingly sought quality, to the extent that the term multimedia has become a common concept used in a very intuitive and general way.  


Apart from texts and to a lesser extent images that have traditionally been used in computer, video and audio could not have the same position if not through the development of storage and distribution processing means. This has always generated enormous interest to benefit,  on the one hand, from the wealth of information contained in particular in the video and audio and, on the other hand, from their combination into a single entity. This ranges from the development of new applications like video conferencing, kiosk type applications (point of information and tourist guides), to editing systems and presentation of interactive multimedia documents. 


Currently, all of the information management professionals agree that henceforth, the description of information will necessarily be done through the interactive multimedia document.


However, an amalgam remains in the definition of a multimedia document and a multimedia system. In other words, should we call a document a multimedia document, since it is composed of a set of media? Or should we call a system a multimedia system, as soon as it manipulates a multimedia document? The answer to this question is crucial if we want to establish the elements of a multimedia document design standards to facilitate their portability and interoperability of applications that process them if appropriate. Therefore, we must at first agree on their definitions.


It is in this context that the central theme of this file fits.  We define; in the first place, the various media, the multimedia document, its modelization adopted by many professionals, and finally, the modelization of a multimedia system. Also, we introduce a state of the art on the most known systems. We can not talk about the multimedia document without mentioning the challenges it faces and the suggestions for overcoming them. 


We conclude with a brief presentation of some projects of the CERIST in this area.



Dr. Azzedine Maredj

Senior Researcher - CERIST

Division of Theory and Engineering of Computer Systems