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A Taxonomy for Networked Virtual Environments
January-March 1997 (vol. 4 no. 1)
pp. 48-56

The development of multi-user networked virtual worlds has become a major area of interest in the computer and communications fields. However, there has been little effort to provide a framework for understanding distributed virtual environments (VEs). In this paper we discuss VEs in the context of how network communications, views, data, and processes are distributed while emphasizing those aspects critical to scaling environments. We find most of the systems described in this paper scale to accommodate a handful of users. We also discuss why systems which demand strong data consistency, causality, and reliable communications at the same time while supporting real-time interaction are not likely to scale very well. Furthermore, if the systems are to be geographically dispersed, then high-speed, multicast communication is required.

Readers may contact Macedonia at Fraunhofer Center for Research in Computer Graphics, 321 S. Main Street, Providence, RI, 02906, e-mail mmacedon@crcg.edu, Web si

te http://www.crcg.edu.
Index Terms:
Virtual Reality, Distributed Interactive Simulation, Internet Protocol Multicast, Distributed Interactive Entertainment, Large-scale Virtual Environments.
Citation:
Michael R. Macedonia, Michael J. Zyda, "A Taxonomy for Networked Virtual Environments," IEEE Multimedia, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 48-56, Jan.-March 1997, doi:10.1109/93.580395
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