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Image Communication Open Architecture



Computers and Graphics 18 (1994), No.1, pp.21-34
ISSN: 0097-8493
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IGD ()
Fraunhofer FOKUS ()
ICOA; image communication; image communication Open Architecture; image data model; image handler; image interchange; image transfer; imaging

Standards for imaging and communication have been developed separately and in isolation from each other. Moreover, even the standards for imaging have been developed in an uncoordinated manner, each addressing the needs of a particular application area. Terminology has been developed in different areas such that the same terms are used to mean different things. AMICS give the opportunity, through its work to develop an Image Communication Open Architecture (ICOA), to characterize images, leading to the production of a framework, which identifies the operations on images, and to relate these operations to the required standards. The ICOA enables the various standards and standardization activities both in the imaging area and in the wider area of image communication to be related and the necessary support tools to be identified. The ICOA framework encompasses several components: A characterization of images was elaborated. Several standards were inspected with respect to images accordin g to information and data structures, communication and other aspects, as storage, processing, management, and identification. Services were inspected in order to identify specific requirements for image communication. A Mathematical model for digital images was defined. A reference model for image formats, which comprises a set of distinct criteria was derived. Conversion aspects were inspected. A comprehensive image data model (ICOA Image Data Model) was defined which can be used to describe any kind of digital image. The relation of digital images to multi/hypermedia information and to international standardization efforts was inspected to provide means for applications wishing to embed images into a multi/hypermedia environment. In regard to software development, the ICOA framework was used as the basis for the development of the ICOA Image Handler (IIH). The purpose of the IIH is the storage and retrieval of digital images whether they are stored locally or remotely. The IIH addr e sses open communication aspects encompassing the handling of various compression schemata and image formats as well as different conversion functionalities. In order to highlight requirements of other RACE projects for the ICOA a questionnaire was developed and distributed. The evaluation of the questionnaire showed the necessity for the ICOA framework.