State Transmission Mechanisms for a Collaborative Virtual Environment Middleware Platform



Collaborative virtual environments (CVE) require the use of
specially designed mechanisms that allow for a consistent sharing of state
among involved users. These mechanisms must, somehow, compensate for
network latency and losses in such a way that all players have a single, coherent
perception of the system state. Common middleware platforms have difficulty
in guaranteeing this consistency, and this is the prime reason why the main
research topic for CVEs is the efficient, scalable and reliable transmission of
state information. This paper presents a state transmission framework
developed for a middleware platform that was constructed by the authors in an
earlier project. This middleware platform, Augmented Reliable Multicast
CORBA Event Service (ARMS), which already supported several QoS
adaptation mechanisms and reliable transmission in multicast environments,
was extended with CVE-oriented state transmission mechanisms. After an
identification of key requirements of collaborative virtual environments, the
relevant features of the proposed state transmission framework are presented.
This framework has been integrated in the ARMS platform and was subject to a
series of performance tests whose results are included and discussed in this
paper. The paper ends with a summary of contributions and an identification of
guidelines for further work.

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