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Network Working Group                                              A. Li
Request for Comments: 4756                                    Hyervision
Category: Standards Track                                  November 2006


              Forward Error Correction Grouping Semantics
                    in Session Description Protocol

Status of This Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2006).

Abstract

   This document defines the semantics that allow for grouping of
   Forward Error Correction (FEC) streams with the protected payload
   streams in Session Description Protocol (SDP).  The semantics defined
   in this document are to be used with "Grouping of Media Lines in the
   Session Description Protocol" (RFC 3388) to group together "m" lines
   in the same session.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Terminology .....................................................2
   3. Forward Error Correction (FEC) ..................................2
   4. FEC Grouping ....................................................3
      4.1. FEC Group ..................................................3
      4.2. Offer / Answer Consideration ...............................3
      4.3. Example of FEC Grouping ....................................3
   5. Security Considerations .........................................4
   6. IANA Considerations .............................................4
   7. Acknowledgments .................................................5
   8. References ......................................................5
      8.1. Normative References .......................................5
      8.2. Informative References .....................................5







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RFC 4756             FEC Grouping Semantics in SDP         November 2006


1.  Introduction

   The media lines in an SDP [3] session may be associated with each
   other in various ways.  SDP itself does not provide methods to convey
   the relationships between the media lines.  Such relationships are
   indicated by the extension to SDP as defined in "Grouping of Media
   Lines in the Session Description Protocol" (RFC 3388) [2].  RFC 3388
   defines two types of semantics: Lip Synchronization and Flow
   Identification.

   Forward Error Correction (FEC) is a common technique to achieve
   robust communication in error-prone environments.  In this document,
   we define the semantics that allows for grouping of FEC streams with
   the protected payload streams in SDP by further extending RFC 3388.

2.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD, "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [1].

3.  Forward Error Correction (FEC)

   Forward Error Correction (FEC) is a common technique to achieve
   robust communication in error-prone environments.  In FEC,
   communication uses a bandwidth that is more than payload to send
   redundantly coded payload information.  The receivers can readily
   recover the original payload even when some communication is lost in
   the transmission.  Compared to other error correction techniques
   (such as retransmission), FEC can achieve much lower transmission
   delay, and it does not have the problem of implosion from
   retransmission requests in various multicast scenarios.

   In general, the FEC data can be sent in two different ways: (1)
   multiplexed together with the original payload stream or (2) as a
   separate stream.  It is thus necessary to define mechanisms to
   indicate the association relationship between the FEC data and the
   payload data they protect.

   When FEC data are multiplexed with the original payload stream, the
   association relationship may, for example, be indicated as specified
   in "An RTP Payload for Redundant Audio Data" (RFC 2198) [4].  The
   generic RTP payload format for FEC [5] uses that method.

   When FEC data are sent as a separate stream from the payload data,
   the association relationship can be indicated in various ways.  This
   document on the FEC media line grouping specifies a mechanism for
   indicating such relationships.



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4.  FEC Grouping

4.1.  FEC Group

   Each "a=group" line is used to indicate an association relationship
   between the FEC streams and the payload streams.  The streams
   included in one "a=group" line are called a "FEC Group".

   Each FEC group MAY have one or more than one FEC stream, and one or
   more than one payload stream.  For example, it is possible to have
   one payload stream protected by more than one FEC stream , or
   multiple payload streams sharing one FEC stream.

   Grouping streams in a FEC group only indicates the association
   relationship between streams.  The detailed FEC protection
   scheme/parameters are conveyed through the mechanism of the
   particular FEC algorithm used.  For example, the FEC grouping is used
   for generic RTP payload for FEC [5] to indicate the association
   relationship between the FEC stream and the payload stream.  The
   detailed protection level and length information for the Unequal Loss
   Protection (ULP) algorithm is communicated in band within the FEC
   stream.

4.2.  Offer / Answer Consideration

   The backward compatibility in offer / answer is generally handled as
   specified in RFC 3388 [2].

   Depending on the implementation, a node that does not understand FEC
   grouping (either does not understand line grouping at all, or just
   does not understand the FEC semantics) SHOULD respond to an offer
   containing FEC grouping either (1) with an answer that ignores the
   grouping attribute or (2) with a refusal to the request (e.g., 488
   Not acceptable here or 606 Not acceptable in SIP).

   In the first case, the original sender of the offer MUST establish
   the connection without FEC.  In the second case, if the sender of the
   offer still wishes to establish the session, it SHOULD re-try the
   request with an offer without FEC.

4.3.  Example of FEC Grouping

   The following example shows a session description of a multicast
   conference.  The first media stream (mid:1) contains the audio
   stream.  The second media stream (mid:2) contains the Generic FEC [5]
   protection for the audio stream.  These two streams form an FEC
   group.  The relationship between the two streams is indicated by the
   "a=group:FEC 1 2" line.  The FEC stream is sent to the same multicast



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   group and has the same Time to Live (TTL) as the audio, but on a port
   number two higher.  Likewise, the video stream (mid:3) and its
   Generic FEC protection stream (mid:4) form another FEC group.  The
   relationship between the two streams is indicated by the "a=group:FEC
   3 4" line.  The FEC stream is sent to a different multicast address,
   but has the same port number (30004) as the payload video stream.

       v=0
       o=adam 289083124 289083124 IN IP4 host.example.com
       s=ULP FEC Seminar
       t=0 0
       c=IN IP4 224.2.17.12/127
       a=group:FEC 1 2
       a=group:FEC 3 4
       m=audio 30000 RTP/AVP 0
       a=mid:1
       m=audio 30002 RTP/AVP 100
       a=rtpmap:100 ulpfec/8000
       a=mid:2
       m=video 30004 RTP/AVP 31
       a=mid:3
       m=video 30004 RTP/AVP 101
       c=IN IP4 224.2.17.13/127
       a=rtpmap:101 ulpfec/8000
       a=mid:4

5.  Security Considerations

   There is a weak threat for the receiver that the FEC grouping can be
   modified to indicate FEC relationships that do not exist.  Such
   attacks may result in failure of FEC to protect, and/or mishandling
   of other media payload streams.  It is recommended that the receiver
   SHOULD do integrity check on SDP and follow the security
   considerations of SDP [3] to only trust SDP from trusted sources.

6.  IANA Considerations

   This document defines the semantics to be used with grouping of media
   lines in SDP as defined in RFC 3388.  The semantics defined in this
   document are to be registered by the IANA when they are published in
   standards track RFCs.

   The following semantics have been registered by IANA in Semantics for
   the "group" SDP Attribute under SDP Parameters.

   Semantics                  Token   Reference
   ------------------------   -----   ----------
   Forward Error Correction   FEC     RFC 4756



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7.  Acknowledgments

   The author would like to thank Magnus Westerlund, Colin Perkins,
   Joerg Ott, and Cullen Jennings for their feedback on this document.

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

   [1]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
        Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [2]  Camarillo, G., Eriksson, G., Holler, J., and H. Schulzrinne,
        "Grouping of Media Lines in the Session Description Protocol
        (SDP)", RFC 3388, December 2002.

   [3]  Handley, M., Jacobson, V., and C. Perkins, "SDP: Session
        Description Protocol", RFC 4566, July 2006.

8.2.  Informative References

   [4]  Perkins, C., Kouvelas, I., Hodson, O., Hardman, V., Handley, M.,
        Bolot, J., Vega-Garcia, A., and S. Fosse-Parisis, "RTP Payload
        for Redundant Audio Data", RFC 2198, September 1997.

   [5]  Li, A., "An RFC Payload Format for Generic FEC", Work in
        Progress.

Author's Address

   Adam H. Li
   HyerVision
   10194 Wateridge Circle #152
   San Diego, CA 92121
   U.S.A.

   Tel:    +1 858 622 9038
   EMail:  adamli@hyervision.com












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RFC 4756             FEC Grouping Semantics in SDP         November 2006


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