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SMAT: Synchronous Multimedia and Annotation Tool



Michelle P. Steves, Mudumbai Ranganathan, Emile L. Morse


We describe the design and use of SMAT (Synchronous Multimedia and Annotation Tool), a tool designed to be part of a scientific collaboratory for use in a robotic-arc-welding research project at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The primary functional requirements of SMAT are to provide the capability to capture, synchronize, play back, and annotate multimedia data in a multi-platform, distributed environment. To meet these requirements, SMAT was designed as a control and integration framework that exploits existing tools to render specific media types and control annotation sessions. SMAT defines a component architecture framework where existing tools can be plugged in and controlled using a distributed, event-driven, tool-bus architecture. SMAT's modular architecture enables control inputs to come from anywhere in the distributed collaborative environment, thus allowing for simultaneous remote and local control of the tool, as well as painless interfacing with the existing collaborative environment. SMAT is built on an gent middleware called AGNI 9Agents at NIST), also developed at NIST. We give an overview of AGNI that can be used to build failure-resilient, distributed, event-driven applications. In addition to describing SMAT's design, interface and underlying middleware, we present performance information, an initial analysis of welding users' experiences and feedback.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the International Conference on System Science
Conference Location


annotation system, collaborative, CSCW groupware, problem-solving environment


Steves, M. , Ranganathan, M. and Morse, E. (2000), SMAT: Synchronous Multimedia and Annotation Tool, Proceedings of the International Conference on System Science, , USA, [online], (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created August 31, 2000, Updated October 12, 2021