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Title: Network architecture for large-scale distributed virtual environments
Author: Balikhina, Tatiana Vladimir
ISNI:       0000 0001 3441 2263
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2005
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Distributed Virtual Environments (DVEs) provide 3D graphical computer generated environments with stereo sound, supporting real-time collaboration between potentially large numbers of users distributed around the world. Early DVEs has been used over local area networks (LANs). Recently with the Internet's development into the most common embedding for DVEs these distributed applications have been moved towards an exploiting IP networks. This has brought the scalability challenges into the DVEs evolution. The network bandwidth resource is the more limited resource of the DVE system and to improve the DVE's scalability it is necessary to manage carefully this resource. To achieve the saving in the network bandwidth the different types of the network traffic that is produced by the DVEs have to be considered. DVE applications demand· exchange of the data that forms different types of traffic such as a computer data type, video and audio, and a 3D data type to keep the consistency of the application's state. The problem is that the meeting of the QoS requirements of both control and continuous media traffic already have been covered by the existing research. But QoS for transfer of the 3D information has not really been considered. The 3D DVE geometry traffic is very bursty in nature and places a high demands on the network for short intervals of time due to the quite large size of the 3D models and the DVE application requirements to transmit a 3D data as quick as possible. The main motivation in carrying out the work presented in this thesis is to find a solution to improve the scalability of the DVE applications by a consideration the QoS requirements of the 3D DVE geometrical data type. In this work we are investigating the possibility to decrease the network bandwidth utilization by the 3D DVE traffic using the level of detail (LOD) concept and the active networking approach. The background work of the thesis surveys the DVE applications and the scalability requirements of the DVE systems. It also discusses the active networks and multiresolution representation and progressive transmission of the 3D data. The new active networking approach to the transmission of the 3D geometry data within the DVE systems is proposed in this thesis. This approach enhances the currently applied peer-to-peer DVE architecture by adding to the peer-to-peer multicast neny_ork layer filtering of the 3D flows an application level filtering on the active intermediate nodes. The active router keeps the application level information about the placements of users. This information is used by active routers to prune more detailed 3D data flows (higher LODs) in the multicast tree arches that are linked to the distance DVE participants. The exploration of possible benefits of exploiting the proposed active approach through the comparison with the non-active approach is carried out using the simulation­based performance modelling approach. Complex interactions between participants in DVE application and a large number of analyzed variables indicate that flexible simulation is more appropriate than mathematical modelling. To build a test bed will not be feasible. Results from the evaluation demonstrate that the proposed active approach shows potential benefits to the improvement of the DVE's scalability but the degree of improvement depends on the users' movement pattern. Therefore, other active networking methods to support the 3D DVE geometry transmission may also be required.
Supervisor: Duce, David ; Ball, Frank Sponsor: University of Petra
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral