Current forecasts on multimedia communication predict an aggressive growth. The transition from single medium communication (typically telephone and conversation based on voice) to interactive multimedia with (possibly augmented) 3D audiovisual content (media streaming, IPTV, multimodal teleconferences, NGN communication scenarios, etc.) encompasses the capability of reaching more complete and natural forms of expression and communication.

Perceived quality is one of the most fundamental goals when developing multimedia technologies, products and services. Thus, an approach for the design and assessment of next generation multimedia services needs to be based on effective and reliable metrics predicting the subjectively perceived quality. Quality optimization is meaningless if the notion of quality is not precisely defined, preventing effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction.

The Network of Excellence (NoE) Qualinet aims at extending the notion of network-centric Quality of Service (QoS) in multimedia systems, by relying on the concept of Quality of Experience (QoE). The main scientific objective is the development of methodologies for subjective and objective quality metrics taking into account current and new trends in multimedia communication systems as witnessed by the appearance of new types of content and interactions. A substantial scientific impact on fragmented efforts carried out in this field will be achieved by coordinating the research of European experts under the catalytic COST umbrella.