Structuring temporal relationships among multimedia information elements is one of the most important facilities for editing and creating multimedia documents. We have developed a multimedia system named MediaPreview which provides facilities for structuring and creating multimedia documents. In this paper, we present a document model which is adopted in MediaPreview. This model has been designed to realize spatial and temporal structuring for the documents. The main feature of this model is the concept of a “Multimedia Paragraph” (MMP) which is introduced to reduce the complexity of the temporal structuring, such as the asynchronous interactive operation among documents. The concept of “MMP” provides an explicit and basic unit which is used to create a document in a “top-down” manner.
This paper also presents the system architecture and implementation of MediaPreview in a distributed environment including database system facilities. This system realizes “static” and “dynamic” integration schemes for multimedia information elements. Our system includes a parallel database engine which manipulates multimedia information elements as streams. This database engine is effectively used for creating multimedia documents.