The last few years have seen an explosive growth in multimedia computing, communications and applications. This revolution is transforming the way people live, work, and interact with one another, and is impacting the way businesses, government services, education, entertainment, and health care are operating. It is safe to say that the multimedia revolution is underway. Yet, several issues related to modeling, specification, analysis and design of distributed multimedia systems and applications are still challenging both researchers and practitioners.This book addresses fundamental design issues and research topics, related to multimedia systems, and provides a comprehensive study of the issues. The topics covered include: distributed multimedia databases and computing; multiparadigmatic information retrieval; modeling and analysis of distributed multimedia systems; OS support for distributed multimedia systems; multimedia communications and networking; multimedia digital libraries and mail systems; multimedia human-computer interaction; multimedia applications for CSCW, distant education, electronic commerce teleconferencing, telemedicine; visual and multidimensional languages for multimedia applications; multimedia workflows; multimedia stream synchronization. In addition, a number of tutorial and overview articles are included so that the volume strikes a balance between introductory tutorials and advanced topics.