|Title of Invention||
USING SMART NOMADIC OBJECTS TO IMPLEMENT SECURE DISTRIBUTED MULTIMEDIA MESSAGING APPLICATIONS AND SERVICES
|Abstract||The invention described herein provides a method to bring about flexibility in programming new multimedia applications and services using existing communication networks without introducing expensive changes bringing about an integrated solution encompassing security, privacy, reliability, broadcast/multicast, transcoding, efficiency and other issues relating to service design and delivery. The invention enables service providers to implement speedy and secure applications that involve transfer of multimodal non real-time information over communications networks. It involves the use of logical nomadic objects to break-up a communication session into three types of entities each carrying one of content, context and control information pertaining to the communication. These entities are operated upon independent of each other providing greater. flexibility in programming a new generation of applications and services.|
|Full Text||USING SMART NOMADIC OBJECTS TO IMPLEMENT SECURE DISTRIBUTED MULTIMEDIA MESSAGING APPLICATIONS AND SERVICES
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a method of using logical nomadic objects to break¬up a communication session into three types of entities each carrying one of content, context and control information pertaining to the communication. Thus, offering a mechanism for the creation, deployment, operation, administration, and management of service delivery over communication networks.
Description of the Prior Art
A communication network is used to send information between and among several sets of users. Such transfer of information typically involves transfer of data, text, graphics or video, which we shall refer to as "content". The communication also involves how, when and where it is delivered and we term this as "control". Information that is pertaining to who. what and why is termed as the "context" information of the communication. In a modern communication network all the above, "content", "control" and "context" can undergo significant transformations in the communication network as the communication flows from an originator to one or more recipients. The ability to effect, manage and adapt to these changes will define the success of new generation communication services.
Communication is primarily of two types - "Real-time" and "non real-time". In real¬time communication, it is unacceptable for content to be delivered beyond a time limit. In "non real-time" communication delays are more tolerable. This invention primarily addresses non real-time communication.
Current networks and existing work of art primarily deal with real-time communication and mandates that all aspects (content, control and context) are managed together as a single logical entity making it a tedious process to design, develop and deliver a new application or service and required high levels of skill and understanding.
Although several new and elegant methods such as Intelligent Networks and service delivery platforms for mobile networks have been proposed in the recent past to provide a single system to abstract all functionality of an underlying telecom network, application innovation is stifled by existing communication paradigm. Also small change in the nature of service and service delivery inevitably require significant resources and expensive redeployment. The need of the hour is newer concepts or techniques to trigger the creativity of developers.
The concept of Intelligent Networks has resulted in numerous innovative services but currently its capabilities and features have been exhausted by the application developers. The limitations of "Intelligent Networks" are becoming prominent especially their inability to address the need of customized services as they were primarily designed to enhance call control functionality in the telecom networks.
Furthermore convergence of networks and technologies is driving the need to deliver a communication service over a multitude of networks and devices. Also the evolution of communication services to a multimedia centric world in a fast paced competitive environment is exposing the limitations of the underlying communication networks used especially their inability to carry "heavy" content, the "inflexibility" to provide the user to determine their choice of device on the fly, the "rigidity" while constructing new services from existing applications or introducing new applications into the network and "limitations" stifling application innovation.
The evolution from traditional "Telecom Networks" to programmable "Intelligent Networks" provided the required flexibility to enhance the functionality of traditional telephone calls. This evolution is expected to continue further into a new paradigm called "Intelligent Services" that will offer the flexibility to deliver multimedia applications and programmability to facilitate application innovation. DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION Summary of the invention
To overcome the limitations in the prior art described above, preferred embodiments disclose a method to bring about flexibility in developing and deployment of new multimedia applications and services using existing communication networks without introducing expensive changes bringing about an integrated solution encompassing security, privacy, reliability, broadcast/multicast, transcoding, efficiency and other issues relating to service design and delivery.
This achieved by a method of communication that breaks every communication into three distinct entities. Each and every one of these entities is a designed and executed as a logical nomadic object. These objects are nomadic as they don"t reside in any fixed location but constantly on the move and on a mission to accomplish its stated objectives. The three distinct objects defined by this invention are independent of each other and are operated upon by a communication system that utilizes the functionality and features offered by these nomadic objects to implement new generation multimedia applications and services. The breakup includes the following nomadic entities:
1. Control entity contains within it the logic or a reference to the logic that needs to be executed to accomplish the process of delivery and rules that need to be executed to implement the personalization preferences of persons or machines participating in the communication.
2. Content entity contains within it the actual content of communication and logic to transform and manage content for different kinds of devices and transport technologies. The content entity may be requested by the network to transform content on the fly to accommodate the capabilities of devices currently in use by recipient(s).
3. Context entity contains within it the information about the current state and the content of communication required by applications to provide personalized
services for users and machines participating in the communications. The information contained in the context entity maybe constantly updated as it flows through the underlying networks and provides the necessary feedback to applications about the environment, network conditions, device capabilities, preferences set by recipient and availability of resources.
Depending on the value, type, size, cost and importance of a nomadic object, a different transport such as a 2G, 30, WiLAN or Internet is chosen on the fly to transport a given entity. It is designed so that all 3 types of entities belonging to a single communication session are possibly transported on 3 different transports at the same time.
Due the separation of content from other sensitive information about the communication the network is empowered to transform content and make it suitable for the device currently in use by the recipient. This essentially lets the recipient choose any kind of device on the fly such as a phone, PDA or a PC to receive the communication. This frees the application developer from the need to support all known variety of device accelerating the creation and delivery of new services by letting the network to manage devices and their capabilities.
The context and control entities further empower the network to adapt to preferences of recipients such as local time, current location of recipient etc, as and when they change in real-time providing a powerful feature for service providers to offer personalized services.
A nomadic entity represents one aspect of a communication and contains information on the type of entity it represents, representation of one or more logical aspect of the communication, state of the entity, rules and logic that can be executed as the entity flows through a network, a unique identity to represent every entity in the communication system, query interface for entities to interact with one another, algorithm to store and transport the entity efficiently and parameters that can be used by the underlying communication system to manage the entities.
The stated purpose of every entity is to seek out and merge with another entity. At any given instant an entity is on the move towards its target entity or waiting for other entities to reach and merge with it. Since no entity is tied to a single location and are free to move constantly, these entities are termed nomadic.
A nomadic entity is created in one of the following ways:
1. Media related to a communication is captured by using various apparatus used by a machine or user such as microphone, camera, electronically files, video camera, keyboards, stylus and electronic data acquisition and control systems. A content entity is created to store such media content.
2. Information pertaining to the nature of communication, personalization preferences, network conditions and current state and progress of communication is constantly monitored and captured from the underlying communication system. A context entity is created to store such information.
3. Personalization of every communication is achieved by associating a set of rules and application logic for every new session. This information is used by various modules of the underlying communication system to control and deliver the given communication with intended results. A control entity is created for new sessions or during application startup. Entities belonging to this type rarely get modified during their lifetime.
The nomadic objects are further characterized by the following functionality and features:
1. Every nomadic entity is uniquely identified in the communication system with a universal identifier. At any point in time no two entities will have the same ID. These IDs are not dependent on location and system are allowed to travel freely on the underlying communication system.
2. Every nomadic entity can be cloned to provide redundancy, reliability and speeding up of communication process. All such clones can then be merged to get an entity back.
3. Every nomadic entity is assigned a specific task that needs to be accomplished once it seeks out it specified target entity. The task itself is carried on the entity itself in the form of a set of rules or application logic.
Due to the nomadic nature, the entities do not have a fixed location where they reside. The nomadic entities can be created at any part of the world and modified or accessed from any other part using various kinds of transport such as a wireless network, GSM, GPRS, traditional PSTN network or Internet. Given this nature the nomadic entities are stored in a global repository termed as a universal store system. The universal storage system is a single logical storage spread across the world and built over the underlying communication networks and providing a single uniform interface to store, retrieve and manage nomadic entities.
One of the primary objectives of the invention of breaking a communication into three logical entities is to enable:
1. Choosing the right transport for a given entity using parameters that include cost, user preferences, level of security, importance, availability and reliability
2. Choosing the right amount of information to provide a given application or module.
3. Moving an entity from one location to another in the most efficient possible manner by transporting different parts of a communication using the appropriate mode of transport. E.g the heavy content such as video is carried over a high speed Internet link, the quality sensitive voice is delivered using the traditional voice circuits and the time and security sensitive personal and equipment information is carried over secure GSM signaling channels.
The very structure and design of nomadic objects facilitate building of a peer-to-peer communication system wherein a communication or service flow is achieved by collaborative applications scattered around the world. The following are the steps involved in building an efficient multimedia communication application using nomadic entities:
1. All the application logic is isolated from the underlying communication network and a new communication service is implemented using a descriptive language that is interpreted by a middleware separating the application logic and the underlying physical networks.
2. The application logic is then carried in the control entities in the form of rules and executable logic to enable a very personalized service for recipients.
3. The application logic is delivered using the universal storage mechanism to facilitate instantaneous deployment worldwide.
4. The delivery process is secured using standard encryption, decryption and licensing methods and tools.
Also a communication service is implemented using a pipeline of applications. The pipeline is usually designed as a network of queues and associated with a service processing every queue. This invention covers the specific methods required to integrate a set of applications in a specific manner to accomplish a specific service flow.
According to another aspect of the invention the process of service delivery is modeled as a network of stages, in which each stage is defined as a well-defined set of services. In further embodiments, the process of service delivery involves the following steps:
Initially, a control entity moves through the underlying communication network
preferably carrying the following information:
1. An Identifier to the service and associated session of the communication
2. Priority and importance
3. The address of the recipient
4. Application logic
5. Rules to transform content
In still further embodiments, the associated context entity also moves along with the control entity, albeit independently and minimally contains
1. Personalization preferences of the recipients
2. Delivery instructions of originator
3. Information of the current state of the process of service delivery
As the control entity moves along in the communication network various applications utilize the information to ensure progress of the communication flow. Also the communication system utilizes the information in the context entity to deliver to the right device based on the current preferential settings of the recipients.
The use of nomadic entities provide an inherent security when service flows on the underlying communication network since content, control and context travel independently of one another. Even when intercepted the communication cannot be reconstructed since all the three parts are essential. This provides a very high level of reliability and security without any additional investment in security methods or tools. The security is further enhanced using entity level permissions and access control mechanisms to ensure higher levels of security especially for financial and defense kind of applications and com.munication services.
Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
Brief Description of Drawings
The following detailed description of the invention is supported by the schematically described embodiment examples, which function only for better understanding and are to be evaluated in no way as a restriction of the range of protection of the invention.
Figure 1 depicts the logical creation of entities
Figure 2 illustrates process of service delivery with multiple stages.
Figure 3 illustrates process of service delivery with concurrent network stages.
Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiment
The following detailed schematic description functions for the understanding of the invention concept, however, it cannot depict this exhaustively since uncounted construction variations both in the design, as well as in the functional construction, are possible.
to be executed to accomplish the process of delivery and rules that need to be executed to implement the personalization preferences of persons or machines participating in the communication. The content entity (4) contains within it the actual content (7) of communication and logic to transform and manage content for different kinds of devices and transport technologies. The content entity (4) may be requested by the network to transform content on the fly to accommodate the capabilities of devices currently in use by recipient(s). The context entity (3) contains within it the information (6) about the current state and the content of communication required by applications to provide personalized services for users and machines participating in the communications. The information (6) contained in the context entity maybe constantly updated as it flows through the underlying networks and provides the necessary feedback to applications about the environment, network conditions, device capabilities, preferences set by recipient and availability of resources.
Every nomadic entity is uniquely identified in the communication system with a universal identifier (ID). At any point in time no two entities will have the same ID. These IDs are not dependent on location and are allowed to travel freely on the underlying communication system.
Figure 2 illustrates Example 1 wherein the service logic requires a content to be delivered to a user (8) from a source (10). The process of service delivery is modelled as a network of intermediate stages in which each stage offers a special service essential for the ultimate delivery of service content. In the current example the control entity (2) taking four stages. The first stage is to authenticate (11) the user (8). Once the user (8) is authenticated, the next stage is identifying the location (12) of the user (8) so as to determine the location of content delivery. This enables rerouting to a different network if required avoiding the actual travel of content across the networks if the user (8) has moved from one network to another network thus improving the efficiency of content delivery. The third stage is identification of the capability (13) of the user device (14). Amongst other things this stage (13) identifies whether the native format of the content stored in the content entity (4) needs transcoding to make it compactable to the user device (14). If transcoding is required the content entity (4) moves to the transcoding stage (15) to reserve resources for the content contained in the content entity (4) to be transcoded into a format compatible to the user device (14).
compactable to the user device (14). If transcoding is required the content entity (4) moves to the transcoding stage (15) to reserve resources for the content contained in the content entity (4) to be transcoded into a format compatible to the user device (14). This is the path shown in bold in Figure 2. If on the other hand content in the content entity (4) is compatible with the user device (14), the stage four (15) is not visited. The content entity (4) travels from the source (10) directly to the transcoding stage (15) and then to the user device (14) or directly from the source (10) to the user device (14) if no transcoding is required.
Figure 3 illustrates Example 2 wherein the stages in deliver of services have been reordered to exploit the inherent concurrency so as to enhance the efficiency of services delivery and depict the versatility of the invention. In Example 2 the first stage is to authenticate (16 the user (8). Once the user (8) is authenticated (16), the control entity (2) and the context entity (3) are cloned to create two or more separate sets of entities. Each set contains a control entity (2) and a context entity (3). Each such set of entities is sent to travel on concurrent paths and all such sets later converge at a single stage where the information contained in the multiple context entities is consolidated into a single context entity (3), and the multiple control entities are discarded in favour of a single control entity (2). To take cue once the user (8) is authenticated (16) one set of the replicated entity goes on to identify the location (17), another set concurrently goes to identify the capability (18) of the end user device (14), if required this set travels to the transcoding stage (15) and moves on to the location stage (17) for consolidation. This further contributes to the inherent capabilities and enhances the utilization and illustrates the flexibility of the system. In this Figure the control path (19) is shown in Bold. Alternatively in the case where the format of the content stored in the content entity (4) is incompatible with that of the user device (14); the corresponding content path (20) is shown in bold dashed lines.
1. A method of using smart nomadic objects to implement secure distributed
multimedia applications and services, the method comprising the steps of:
Creation of three logical nomadic entities to represent the content, context and control of a communication wherein: (a) The Control entity contains within it the logic or a reference to the logic that needs to be executed to accomplish the process of delivery and rules that need to be executed to implement the personalization preferences of persons or machines participating in the communication, (b) The Content entity contains within it the actual content of communication and logic to transform and manage content for different kinds of devices and transport technologies, and (c) The Context entity contains within it the information about the current state and the content of communication required by applications to provide personalized services for users and machines participating in the communications;
Transporting the said nomadic entities independent of each other wherein the transportation is independent of underlying network technology;
Using one or more of the said nomadic entities one or more applications operate in tandem to provide a communication service to users and machines;
Delivering based on recipient"s device capabilities, time, location and other relevant personalization information and preferences.
2. The method according to claim 1, wherein creating the different kinds of nomadic
entities comprises the steps of:
Defining the type and purpose of the entity;
Capturing the media content of the communication from various apparatus used by the users or machines;
Identifying and storing information pertaining to the intended communication, personalization preferences of the originator and the recipient, underlying network parameters and the current state of the communication;
Choosing the right set of rules and application logic, to control the delivery of the communication to the intended recipient;
Update constantly the change in information contained in the context entity as it flows from originator to the recipient.
3. The method according to claim 2 wherein the steps of defining the functionality
and behavior of a nomadic entities comprises the steps of:
Assigning a unique identifier to identify every single entity;
Creating the desired number of clones of an entity to provide redundancy and increase the speed of operations;
Defining a specific task for each entity;
Making each entity seek its target entity to perform the defined task;
Merging the said cloned entities and combining the results produced by each cloned entity;
4. The method according to claim 1, wherein the step of transporting the different
kinds of entities independent of each other using the right technology comprises
the steps of
Choosing the right transport for a given entity using parameters that include cost, user preferences, level of security, importance, availability and reliability;
Inferring the intended destination where the said entity has to be transported;
Moving an entity from the current location to the intended destination.
5. The method according to claim I, wherein the step of creating and executing
applications comprises the steps of:
Isolating application logic from functionality offered by the underlying communication system;
Constructing a communication service by pipelining disparate applications to achieve a specific communication flow;
Automating delivery of new applications, to service providers in a secure and trusted environment.
6. The method according to claim I, wherein the step of delivering a communication
comprises the steps of;
Identifying and choosing the right user and device to deliver a given communication;
Automatic transformation of content suitable for the device currently in use;
Applying the necessary rules to accommodate the recipient"s preferences.
7. The method according to claim 1, wherein the step of creating nomadic entities
comprises the steps of:
Linking all entities belonging to a specific service flow to the said unique identifier;
Embedding the above service flow identifier in all entities belonging to the given service flow;
Providing access to information contained in all entities to applications using the service flow identifier as and when needed;
Storing of all entities in a universal storage system wherein access is provided based on the unique service flow identifier.
8. A method according to claim 7 wherein the implementing storage of entities in
universal storage systems comprises the steps of
Creating and managing a content object to store an entity in one location, replicating it in a plurality of locations and accessing it from different locations;
Creating and managing a context object to identify information associated with the entity being stored;
Creating and managing a control object containing rules that comprise information to identify the next probable location where the stored entity might be accessed, accessibility rights to modify, replicate and validate the integrity of the stored entity;
Creating and managing the identity of the object that provides access to all the said objects used to store and retrieve in entirety the stored entity and information related to the storage.
9. The method according to claim 1 wherein ensuring security comprises the steps of.
Transport all entities isolated from one another using different transports;
Introducing a time delay when the entities use the same transport;
Provide entity level permission for access to information contained in the entity in a central database.
|Indian Patent Application Number||514/MAS/2002|
|PG Journal Number||37/2008|
|Date of Filing||11-Jul-2002|
|Name of Patentee||DR. S. RAVI SHANKAR|
|Applicant Address||D-104, ADARSH GARDENS, 47TH CROSS, 8TH BLOCK JAYANAGAR, BANGLORE 560 082,|
|PCT International Classification Number||H04L 12/28|
|PCT International Application Number||N/A|
|PCT International Filing date|