Explain stream oriented communication with suitable example.

Mumbai University > Computer Engineering > Sem 8 > Parallel & Distributed System

Marks: 10M

Year: May 2016


Stream-oriented communication

  1. Support for continuous media.

  2. Streams in distributed systems

  3. Stream management

Continuous media


All communication facilities discussed so far are essentially based on a discrete, that is time-independent exchange of information

Continuous media

Characterized by the fact that values are time dependent:

a. Audio

b. Video

c. Animations

d. Sensor data (temperature, pressure, etc.)

Transmission modes

Different timing guarantees with respect to data transfer:

Asynchronous: no restrictions with respect to when data is to be delivered

Synchronous: define a maximum end-to-end delay for individual data packets

Isochronous: define a maximum end-to-end delay and maximum delay variance (jitter is bounded)



A (continuous) data stream is a connection-oriented communication facility that supports isochronous data transmission.

Some common stream characteristics

  1. Streams are unidirectional

  2. There is generally a single source, and one or more sinks

  3. Often, either the sink and/or source is a wrapper around hardware (e.g., camera, CD device, TV monitor)

  4. Simple stream: a single flow of data, e.g., audio or video

  5. Complex stream: multiple data flows, e.g., stereo audio or combination audio/video

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