UCT CS Research Document Archive

An Online Meeting Tool for Low Bandwidth Environments

Mvumbi, Tresor, Flora Kundaeli, Zafika Manzi, Kyle Williams and Hussein Suleman (2012) An Online Meeting Tool for Low Bandwidth Environments. In Proceedings Annual Research Conference of the South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT 2012), Centurion, South Africa.

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Abstract

Online meetings allow for remote conferencing and collaborative work among geographically dispersed participants and can save time and expenses that an ordinary face-to-face meeting would require. However, carrying real-time communication within the packet-switched Internet is a challenging task, especially in an African context, which is characterized by low bandwidth and unstable Internet connections. This paper presents and evaluates a tool that was designed to enhance the user experience for Web-based conferencing, given the constraints of Internet conditions typical of Africa. Approaches used to achieve this goal included: reprioritisation of multimedia streams, image differentiation, half duplex communication mode and stream compression. It was found that less than 56 kbps of bandwidth was required in order to: transmit audio; use video to convey presence; share slides and screen; and support text-based chat and floor control. Furthermore, users were largely satisfied with the tool and felt that it created a good user experience.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:Web-based meeting, video conferencing, low bandwidth
Subjects:H Information Systems: H.4 INFORMATION SYSTEMS APPLICATIONS
H Information Systems: H.5 INFORMATION INTERFACES AND PRESENTATION
ID Code:810
Deposited By:Williams, Kyle Mark
Deposited On:23 October 2012