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Point-to-Point IM Interworking session Between SIP and MFTS

Point-to-Point IM Interworking session Between SIP and MFTS

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This study introduces a new IM interworking prototype between the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the Multipoint File Transfer System (MFTS). The interworking system design is presented as well. The interworking system relies on adding a new network entity to enable the interworking which has the ability to work as a SIP server to the SIP-side of the network and as a MFTS server to the MFTS-side of the network. Use Cases tool is used to describe the translation server architecture. Finally, experimental-based results show that the interworking entity is able to run a successful point-to-point interoperability IM session between SIP and MFTS that involved user registration and message translations as well.
This study introduces a new IM interworking prototype between the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the Multipoint File Transfer System (MFTS). The interworking system design is presented as well. The interworking system relies on adding a new network entity to enable the interworking which has the ability to work as a SIP server to the SIP-side of the network and as a MFTS server to the MFTS-side of the network. Use Cases tool is used to describe the translation server architecture. Finally, experimental-based results show that the interworking entity is able to run a successful point-to-point interoperability IM session between SIP and MFTS that involved user registration and message translations as well.

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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 8, No.

7, 2010

Point-to-Point IM Interworking Session Between SIP and MFTS
1

Mohammed Faiz Aboalmaaly, 2Omar Amer Abouabdalla 3Hala A. Albaroodi and 4Ahmed M. Manasrah
National Advanced IPv6 Centre Universiti Sains Malaysia Penang, Malaysia 1 essa@nav6.usm.my, 2omar@nav6.usm.my, 3hala@nav6.usm.my, 4ahmad@nav6.usm.my

Abstract— This study introduces a new IM interworking prototype between the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the Multipoint File Transfer System (MFTS). The interworking system design is presented as well. The interworking system relies on adding a new network entity to enable the interworking which has the ability to work as a SIP server to the SIP-side of the network and as a MFTS server to the MFTS-side of the network. Use Cases tool is used to describe the translation server architecture. Finally, experimental-based results show that the interworking entity is able to run a successful point-to-point interoperability IM session between SIP and MFTS that involved user registration and message translations as well. Keywords- SIP; MFTS; Instant Messaging (IM);

clients. The MFTS has been adopted in the Multimedia Conferencing System (MCS) product [4] by the Document Conferencing unit (DC), which is a network component that is responsible for any user communications related to file sharing as well as instant messaging interaction. II. SIP AND MFTS AS INSTANT MESSGING PROTOCOLS

I.

INTRODUCTION

Over the last few years, the use of computer network systems to provide communication facilities among people has increased; hence the service provided for this area must be enhanced. Various signaling protocols have arisen and many multimedia conferencing systems have been developed that use these signaling protocols in order to provide audio, video, data and instant messaging communication among people. Transparent interoperability between dissimilar signaling protocols and Instant Messaging and Presence (IMP) applications has become desirable in order to ensure full endto-end connectivity. In order to enable the interoperability between two or more different signaling protocols or standards, a translation mechanism must exist in between to translate the non-similar control options and media profiles. SIP [1], is a well-known signaling protocol that has been adopted in many areas and applications in the Internet as a control protocol. SIP is an application layer protocol, used for establishing, modifying and ending multimedia sessions in an IP-based network. SIP is a standard created by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for initiating an interactive user session that involves multimedia elements such as, video, voice, chat, gaming and virtual reality. It is also, a request-response protocol; like the HTTP [2], it uses messages to manage the multimedia conference over the Internet. On the other hand, The Multipoint File Transfer System or (MFTS) [3] is a file distribution system based on the well knows “client-server architecture”. The MFTS server is actually a distribution engine, which handles the issues related to file sharing as well as instant messaging exchange among the various MFTS

A. MFTS as an Instant Messaging Protocol As everyone knows, Instant Messaging is a type of near real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. The text is carried via devices connected over a network such as the Internet. MFTS in turn, uses control messages as a carrier to send and receive instant messages (with text) among MFTS clients. As a normal IM communication, an MFTS client sends several instant messages with a variety of lengths to one or more MFTS clients. Figure 1 depicts the standard structure of the MFTS control message

Figure 1.

MFTS Message Structure

As depicted above, the MFTS message is divided into five main fields Message Type, Command, Sender Information, Receiver(s) Information, and Parameters. Message type is used to indicate the purpose of the message whether it is client to server message or it is a server to server message, while the command indicates the specific name of the message like Private Chat (PRCHAT), the Command is a six character length. Additionally, Sender info and receiver(s) are used to identify the IP address of both the sender and the receiver respectively. Parameters are used to identify protocol-specific issues which out of the scope of this study [5].

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B. SIP as Instant Messaging Protocol The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has defined two modes of instant messaging for SIP. The first is the pager mode, which makes use of the SIP MESSAGE method, as defined in [6]. The MESSAGE method is an extension to the SIP that allows the transfer of Instant Messages. This mode establishes no sessions, but rather each MESSAGE request is sent independently and carries the content in the form of MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) body part of each request. Additionally, grouping these independent requests can be achieved at the SIP UA’s by adding a user interface that lists these messages in ordered way or grouped in a dialog initiated by some other SIP request. By contrast, the session mode makes use of the Message Session Relay Protocol or MSRP [7], which is designed to transmit a series of related instant messages of arbitrary sizes in the context of a session. III. INTERWORKING METHOD

traverse through several proxies before it reaches the final destination of the end user [1]. On the other hand, in MFTS, similar mechanism is used to ensure that an MFTS message will reach to the user that resided behind another MFTS [3]. The proposed interworking module will take the advantage of these features. The idea is to combine both the proxy server capabilities with MFTS server capabilities in one entity. This entity should also include a translation component that translates SIP messages to MFTS messages and vice versa. In this case, both SIP proxy server and MFTS server will communicate with this entity as a server analogous to them. Accordingly, this method will provide transparent communication to the users and to the servers as well. In addition to that, the translation process will be done within that bi-directional translation server. The Figure below illustrates the general interworking prototype between SIP and MFTS.

As mentioned previously in [8], SIP handles two methods for instant messaging services, pager mode and session mode. In a session mode there will be a session establishment using Message Session Relay Protocol (MSRP) while in the pager mode there is no need to establish a session, because the MESSAGE method in SIP is actually a signaling message or request which is the same as INVITE, CANCEL and OPTION. On the other hand, the MFTS server is the distributing engine responsible for sending instant messages among MFTS users, which uses control messages for that purpose. From this point, we found out that it is more stable to choose the SIP pager mode for instant messaging as the other part to communicate with MFTS users. Figure 2 below shows the SIP MESSAGE request. MESSAGE sip:user2@domain.com SIP/2.0 Via: SIP/2.0/TCP user1pc.domain.com;branch=z9hG4bK776sgdkse Max-Forwards: 70 From: sip:user1@domain.com;tag=49583 To: sip:user2@domain.com Call-ID: asd88asd77a@1.2.3.4 CSeq: 1 MESSAGE Content-Type: text/plain Content-Length: 18 Hello World
Figure 2. SIP MESSAGE Request

Figure 3.

SIP-MFTS Interworking

B. System Model Before starting the interworking session, the translation module must register itself with the SIP server and supports the address resolution schemes of SIP. In MFTS, there are two types of registration. The first registration is that the MFTS server should register itself to other MFTS servers, since the translation model is considered as another MFTS server from a MFTS user’s side; it must register itself with MFTS server. The second type of registration is the process by which an MFTS client logs into the MFTS server, and informs it of its IP address. Registration will occur before any instant messaging sessions are attempted. The MFTS server will respond with either a confirmation or a reject message. In SIP, the REGISTER request allows a SIP registrar server to know the client’s address. C. Interworking Module Requirements Each entity in the interworking module has been analyzed based on its normal functionalities. According to that, Figure 4 shows the internal modules by using the use case tool of the proposed translation server and the number of connections to the SIP side of the network and to the MFTS side of the network. As illustrated in figure 4, two modules are used for the registration for both SIP and MFTS, and two additional modules are used for sending and receiving the control messages, these two modules are linked together by the translation function module to translate between the two types of instant messages (MESSAGE and PRCHAT).

Since both MFTS and SIP use the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) for sending and receiving control messages (signaling) between their network components, the translation module should use TCP as well. A. SIP-MFTS Interworking In order to ensure that a message will reach its destination, SIP proxy server may forward a SIP message request to another server; in other words, a SIP message request may
National Advanced IPv6 Centre. (sponsors)

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(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security, Vol. 8, No. 7, 2010

between SIP and MFTS. Moreover, each test is conducted five times to ensure certainty. A. Functional Testing SIP-MFTS Functional testing is basically done by sending several chat messages with a variety of lengths to the destination/s. It is applied on all proposed scenarios that were mentioned in subsection 5.2.1. Five different lengths of messages are sent through the network starting from “Hello world” sentence and ending with its duplications, for instance, the second sentence is “Hello world Hello world” and so on. All functional tests were done successfully. B. Time Required This part of testing has actually followed the same conducted steps in the functional testing. All tests at this stage are done by acquiring the required time for each chat message to reach the other domain. Furthermore, each type of test is done five times and an arithmetic mean is calculated for them. Table III reports the time required for the messages to be sent from the SIP client to the MFTS client, while Table IV shows the time required for the message to be sent from the MFTS client to the SIP client. Moreover, there was no significant difference noticed in both tests (SIP to MFTS) and (MFTS to SIP).
TABLE III. Message Lenght “Hello World” X1 “Hello World” X2 “Hello World” X4 “Hello World” X8 “Hello World” X16 SIP TO MFTS Time (Seconds) 0.23 0.27 0.34 0.45 0.43

Figure 4. Use Case Diagram for the Proposed Translation Server

D. SIP and MFTS Message Translation Both SIP and MFTS messages consist of few fields that are used to identify the sender, the receiver or receivers and some other information, in both of them this information is considered as a message header. Table I and Table II show the translation table that translates MFTS specifications to SIP specifications and from SIP specifications to MFTS specifications respectively.
TABLE I. MFTS Command Thread Sender-Info Receiver(s) MFTS-TO-SIP TRANSLATION TABLE SIP Header or Contents body of MESSAGE Call-ID From To

TABLE IV. TABLE II. SIP-TO-MFTS TRANSLATION TABLE MFTS thread (no Mapping) (no mapping) Sender-Info (no Mapping) Receiver(s) Command MFTS “Hello World” X1 “Hello World” X2 “Hello World” X4 “Hello World” X8 “Hello World” X16

MFTS TO SIP SIP Header or Contents 0.29 0.28 0.26 0.50 0.39

SIP Header or contents Call-ID Content-Language Cseq From Subject To body of MESSAGE

V.

CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK

IV.

TESTING AND RESULTS

The translation server testing is based on proposing real interoperability IM scenarios. Two tests are conducted, one to check the functionality of the system as an IM interoperability module between SIP and MFTS, while the second is supplementary to the first one which is to know the time required to receive an instant message to the destination client. Both tests are applied on a one-to-one interoperability session

The translation server was capable of handling a one - to one instant messaging conference between SIP and MFTS. Two types of tests were conducted; functionality test and the time required. All tests are done successfully and were within an acceptable range. Proposed future work might cover the multipoint IM sessions between SIP and MFTS (work in progress) and might also include the multiple-protocol interoperability concept that involves many IM protocols communicating together. Furthermore, since MFTS has the capability to work as a file transfer system, and since there is a study conducted to make SIP able to work as a file transfer

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system based on the capability provided by MSRP, additional interworking between SIP and MFTS based on file transfer capability will increase the usefulness of this study. REFERENCES
[1] J. Rosenberg, H. Schulzrinne, G. Camarillo, A. Johnston, J. Peterson, R. Sparks, et al., " SIP: Session Initiation Protocol ", RFC 3261, June 2002. [2] R. Fielding, J. Gettys, J.Mogul, H. Frystyk, L. Masinter, P. Leach, et al., “Hypertext transfer protocol–HTTP/1.1”, RFC 2616, June 1999. [3] S. N. Saleh, “An Algorithm To Handle Reliable Multipoint File Transfer Using The Distributed Network Entities Architecture” Master Thesis, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia, 2004. [4] “Multimedia Conferencing System – MCS” Internet: http://www.unimal.ac.id/mcs/MCSv6.pdf,[17-September-2010]. [5] B. Campbell, J. Rosenberg, H. Schulzrinne, C. Huitema, and D. Gurle, “Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Extension for Instant Messaging”, RFC 3428, December 2002. [6] B. Campbell, R. Mahy, C. Jennings, “The Message Session Relay Protocol (MSRP)”, RFC 4975, September 2007. [7] S. N. Saleh, “Semi-Fluid: A Content Distribution Model For Faster Dissemination Of Data” PhD Thesis, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia, 2010. [8] J. C. Han, S. O. Park, S. G. Kang and H. H. Lee, “A Study on SIP-based Instant Message and Presence” in: The 9th International Conference on Advanced Communication Technology, Korea, vol 2, pp. 1298-1301, February 2007.

in 2009. Her PhD research is on peer-to-peer computing. She has numerous research of interest such as IPv6 multicasting and video Conferencing. Dr. Ahmed M. Manasrah is a senior lecturer and the deputy director for research and innovation of the National Advanced IPv6 Centre of Excellence (NAV6) in Universiti Sains Malaysia. He is also the head of inetmon project “network monitoring and security monitoring platform”. Dr. Ahmed obtained his Bachelor of Computer Science from Mu’tah University, al Karak, Jordan in 2002. He obtained his Master of Computer Science and doctorate from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2005 and 2009 respectively. Dr. Ahmed is heavily involved in researches carried by NAv6 centre, such as Network monitoring and Network Security monitoring with 3 Patents filed in Malaysia.

AUTHORS PROFILE A PhD candidate, He received his bachelor degree in software engineering from Mansour University College (IRAQ) and a master’s degree in computer science from Univeriti Sains Malaysia (Malaysia). His PhD. research is mainly focused on Overlay Networks. He is interested in several areas of research such as Multimedia Conferencing, Mobile Ad-hoc Network (MANET) and Parallel Computing. Dr. Omar Amer Abouabdalla obtained his PhD degree in Computer Sciences from University Science Malaysia (USM) in the year 2004. Presently he is working as a senior lecturer and domain head in the National Advanced IPv6 Centre – USM. He has published more than 50 research articles in Journals and Proceedings (International and National). His current areas of research interest include Multimedia Network, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), and Network Security.

A PhD candidate joined the NAv6 in 2010. She received her Bachelor degree in computer sciences from Mansour University College (IRAQ) in 2005 and a master’s degree in computer sciences from Univeriti Sains Malaysia (Malaysia)

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