nav: { _mpeg21 [_vision] [_parts] _dia [_gBSD] }{ _resources [_use case] [_demos] [_links] [_references] }{ _about [_team] }

+++ view digital item declaration +++

Information Technology — MPEG-21 Multimedia Framework


MPEG-21 Digital Item Adaptation

MPEG-21 Digital Item Adaptation specifies the syntax and semantics of tools that may be used to assist the adaptation of Digital Items, i.e., the Digital Item Declaration and resources referenced by the declaration. The tools could be used to satisfy transmission, storage and consumption constraints, as well as Quality of Service management by the various Users. It is important to emphasize that the adaptation engines themselves are non-normative tools of this part of MPEG-21.


The goal of the Terminals and Networks element described in ISO/IEC 21000-1 is to achieve interoperable transparent access to (distributed) advanced multimedia content by shielding Users from network and terminal installation, management and implementation issues. To achieve this goal, the adaptation of Digital Items is required. This concept is illustrated in Figure 1 . As shown in this conceptual architecture, a Digital Item is subject to a resource adaptation engine, as well as a description adaptation engine, which together produce the adapted Digital Item.

This figure shows an illustration and scope of Digital Item Adaptation.

Figure 1 — Illustration of Digital Item Adaptation.
 (*** click on figure to enlarge ***)

DIA Tools

The Digital Item Adaptation tools in this specification are clustered into eight major categories as illustrated in Figure 2 .

This figure gives an overview and shows the organization of Digital Item Adaptation tools.

Figure 2 — Overview and organization of Digital Item Adaptation tools.
 (*** click on figure to enlarge ***)

  • The categories are clustered according to their functionality and use for Digital Item Adaptation around the Schema Tools and Low-Level Data Types. The schema tools provide uniform root elements for all DIA descriptions as well as some low-level and basic datatypes which can be used by several DIA tools independently.
  • The first major category is the Usage Environment Description Tools, which include User characteristics, terminal capabilities, network characteristics and natural environment characteristics. These tools provide descriptive information about the various properties of the usage environment, which originate from Users, to accommodate, for example, the adaptation of Digital Items for transmission, storage and consumption.
  • The second category is referred to as BSDLink which provides the facilities to create a rich variety of adaptation architectures based on tools specified within this part of MPEG-21, MPEG-21 DID, and MPEG-7 MDS among others.
  • Bitstream Syntax Description tools comprise the third major category of Digital Item Adaptation tools. A BSD describes the syntax — in most cases, the high level structure — of a binary media resource. Using such a description, a Digital Item resource adaptation engine can transform the bitstream and the corresponding description using editing-style operations such as data truncation and simple modifications.
  • The fourth category of tools is referred to as Terminal and Network Quality of Service. The tools specified in this category describe the relationship between QoS constraints (e.g., on network bandwidth or a terminal’s computational capabilities), feasible adaptation operations satisfying these constraints and associated media resource qualities that result from adaptation. This set of tools therefore provides the means to trade-off these parameters with respect to quality so that an adaptation strategy can be formulated and optimal adaptation decisions can be made in constrained environments.
  • The Universal Constraints Description Tools form the fifth category of tools which enables the possibility to describe limitation and optimisation constraints on adaptations.
  • The sixth category is referred to as Metadata Adaptability. This tool specifies hint information that can be used to reduce the complexity of adapting the metadata contained in a Digital Item. On the one hand, they are used for filtering and scaling, and on the other hand, for integrating XML instances.
  • For Session Mobility, the seventh category of tools, the configuration state information that pertains to the consumption of a Digital Item on one device is transferred to a second device. This enables the Digital Item to be consumed on the second device in an adapted way.
  • Finally, the eighth category of tools is referred to as DIA Configuration Tools, which provides information required for the configuration of a Digital Item Adaptation Engine.


  • ISO/IEC 21000-7:2004, Information technology — Multimedia framework (MPEG-21) — Part 7: Digital Item Adaptation

ITEC logo

© 2004-2005 Department of Information Technology (ITEC), Klagenfurt University, Austria
last updated: 2005/01/03 08:45am CET by Email address (spam protection mode)