This Article 
   
 Share 
   
 Bibliographic References 
   
 Add to: 
 
Digg
Furl
Spurl
Blink
Simpy
Google
Del.icio.us
Y!MyWeb
 
 Search 
   
Improving the Performance of Distributed Virtual Environment Systems
July 2005 (vol. 16 no. 7)
pp. 637-649

Abstract—The last years have witnessed a dramatic growth in the number as well as in the variety of distributed virtual environment systems. These systems allow multiple users, working on different client computers that are interconnected through different networks, to interact in a shared virtual world. One of the key issues in the design of scalable and cost-effective DVE systems is the partitioning problem. This problem consists of efficiently assigning the existing clients to the servers in the system and some techniques have been already proposed for solving it. This paper experimentally analyzes the correlation of the quality function proposed in the literature for solving the partitioning problem with the performance of DVE systems. Since the results show an absence of correlation, we also propose the experimental characterization of DVE systems. The results show that the reason for that absence of correlation is the nonlinear behavior of DVE systems with regard to the number of clients in the system. DVE systems reach saturation when any of the servers reaches 100 percent of CPU utilization. The system performance greatly decreases if this limit is exceeded in any server. Also, as a direct application of these results, we present a partitioning method that is targeted to keep all the servers in the system below a certain threshold value of CPU utilization, regardless of the amount of network traffic. Evaluation results show that the proposed partitioning method can improve DVE system performance, regardless of both the movement pattern of clients and the initial distribution of clients in the virtual world.

[1] H. Abrams, K. Watsen, and M. Zyda, “Three Tiered Interest Management for Large-Scale Virtual Environments,” Proc. ACM Symp. Virtual Reality Software and Technology '98, Nov. 1998.
[2] M. Abrash, “Quake's Game Engine: The Big Picture,” Dr. Dobb's J., Spring 1997.
[3] D.B. Anderson, J.W. Barrus, and J.H. Howard, “Building Multi-User Interactive Multimedia Environments at MERL,” IEEE Multimedia, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 77-82, Winter 1995.
[4] N. Beatrice, S. Antonio, L. Rynson, and L. Frederick, “A Multi-Server Architecture for Distributed Virtual Walkthrough,” Proc. ACM Symp. Virtual Reality Software and Technology '02, pp. 163-170, Nov. 2002.
[5] C. Bouras, D. Fotakis, and A. Philopoulos, “A Distributed Virtual Learning Centre in Cyberspace,” Proc. Fourth Int'l Conf. Virtual Systems and Multimedia, VSMM '98, Nov. 1998.
[6] P.A. Berstein, V. Hadzilacos, and N. Goodman, Concurrency, Control and Recovery in Database Systems. Addison-Wesley, 1997.
[7] T. Carneiro and J. Árabe, “Load Balancing for Distributed Virtual Reality Systems,” Proc. Int'l Symp. Computer Graphics, Image Processing, and Vision (SIBGRAPI '98), pp. 158-165, Jan. 1998.
[8] M. Capps, “The QUICK Framework for Task-Specific Asset Prioritization in Distributed Virtual Environments,” Proc. IEEE Virtual Reality Conf., Mar. 2000.
[9] R. Chow and T. Jhonson, Distributed Operating Systems and Algorithms. Addison Wesley-Longman, 1997.
[10] DIS, 1278.1 IEEE Standard for Distributed Interactive Simulation-Application Protocols (ANSI), DMSO, DoD High Level Architecture, 1997.
[11] J. Falby, M. Zyda, D. Pratt, and R. Mackey, “NPSNET: Hierarchical Data Structures for Real-Time Three-Dimensional Visual Simulation,” Computers and Graphics, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 65-69, 1993.
[12] FIPA Agent Management Specification, Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents, http://www.fipa.org/specsfipa00023/, 2000.
[13] T.A. Funkhouser, “Network Topologies for Scalable Multi-User Virtual Environments,” Proc. IEEE Virtual Reality Ann. Int'l Symp., Apr. 1996.
[14] E. Frecon and M. Stenius, “DIVE: A Scalable Network Architecture for Distributed Virtual Environments,” Distributed Systems Eng., vol. 5, 1998.
[15] F.C. Greenhalgh, “Awareness-Based Communication Management in MASSIVE Systems,” Distributed Systems Eng., vol. 5, 1998.
[16] C. Greenhalgh, “Analysing Movement and World Transitions in Virtual Reality Tele-Conferencing,” Proc. Fifth European Conf. Computer Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW '97), Sept. 1997.
[17] C. Greenhalgh, A. Bullock, E. Frécon, D. Llyod, and A. Steed, “Making Networked Virtual Environments Work,” Presence, vol. 10, no. 2, Apr. 2001.
[18] E.P. Harvey, R.L. Schaffer, and S.M. McGarry, “High Performance Fixed-Wing Aircraft Simulation Using SIMNET Protocols,” Proc. 23rd Ann. Summer Computer Simulation Conf., pp. 965-970, July 1991.
[19] J.C. Hu, I. Pyarali, and D.C. Schmidt, “Measuring the Impact of Event Dispatching and Concurrency Models on Web Server Performance over High-Speed Networks,” Proc. Second IEEE Global Internet Conf., Nov. 1997.
[20] F. Kuhl, R. Weatherly, and J. Dahmann, Creating Computer Simulation Systems: An Introduction to the High Level Architecture. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall PTR, 1999.
[21] Y. Kawahara, H. Morikawa, and T. Aoyama, “A Peer-to-Peer Message Exchange Scheme for Large Scale Networked Virtual Environments,” Proc. Eighth IEEE Int'l Conf. Comm. Systems (ICCS 2002), Nov. 2002.
[22] D. Lee, M. Lim, and S. Han, “ATLAS— A Scalable Network Framework for Distributed Virtual Environments,” Proc. ACM Collaborative Virtual Environments Conf. (CVE 2002), pp. 47-54, Sept.-Oct. 2002.
[23] M. Lewis and J. Jacboson, “Game Engines in Scientific Research,” Comm. ACM, vol. 45, no. 1, Jan. 2002.
[24] J.C.S. Lui, M.F. Chan, and K.Y. Oldfield, “Dynamic Partitioning for a Distributed Virtual Environment,” Dept. of Computer Science, Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong, 1998.
[25] J.C.S. Lui and W.K. Lam, “General Methodology in Analysing the Performance of Parallel/Distributed Simulation under General Computational Graphs,” Proc. Third Int'l Conf. Numerical Solution of Markov Chain, Sept. 1999.
[26] J.C.S. Lui, M.F. Chan, K.Y. So, and T.S. Tam, “Deriving an Optimal Synchronization Interval for Supporting View Consistency in a Distributed Virtual Environment,” Proc. Fifth Int'l Workshop Multimedia Information Systems (MIS '99), pp. 99-106, Oct. 1999.
[27] J.C.S. Lui and M.F. Chan, “An Efficient Partitioning Algorithm for Distributed Virtual Environment Systems,” IEEE Trans. Parallel and Distributed Systems, vol. 13, no. 3, Mar. 2002.
[28] M.R. Macedonia, “A Taxonomy for Networked Virtual Environments,” IEEE Multimedia, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 48-56, Jan.-Mar. 1997.
[29] M.R. Macedonia, M.J. Zyda, D.R. Pratt, D.P. Brutzman, and P.T. Barham, “Exploiting Reality with Multicast Groups, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, pp. 38-45, Sept. 1995.
[30] M. Matijasevic, K.P. Valavanis, D. Gracanin, and I. Lovrek, “Application of a Multi-User Distributed Virtual Environment Framework to Mobile Robot Teleoperation over the Internet,” Machine Intelligence & Robotic Control, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 11-26, 1999.
[31] D.C. Miller and J.A. Thorpe, “SIMNET: The Advent of Simulator Networking,” Proc. IEEE, vol. 83, no. 8, pp. 1114-1123, Aug. 1995.
[32] P. Morillo and M. Fernández, “A GRASP-Based Algorithm for Solving DVE Partitioning Problem,” Proc. 2003 Int'l Parallel and Distributed Processing Symp. (IPDPS 2003), Apr. 2003.
[33] P. Morillo, M Fernández, and J.M. Orduña, “A Comparison Study of Moder Heuristics for Solving the Partitioning Problem in Distributed Virtual Environment Systems,” Proc. Int'l Conf. Computational Science and its Applications (ICCSA 2003), pp. 458-467, May 2003.
[34] P. Morillo, J.M. Orduña, M. Fernández, and J. Duato, “On the Characterization of Distributed Virtual Environment Systems,” Proc. European Conf. Parallel Processing (Euro-Par 2003), pp. 1190-1198, Aug. 2003.
[35] P. Morillo, M. Fernández, and J.M. Orduña, “On the Characterization of Avatars in Distributed Virtual Worlds,” Proc. EUROGRAPHICS 2003, pp. 215-220, Sept. 2003.
[36] P. Morillo, J.M. Orduña, M. Fernández, and J. Duato, “An Adaptive Load Balancing Technique for Distributed Virtual Environment Systems,” Proc. 15th IASTED Int'l Conf. Parallel and Distributed Computing Systems, Nov. 2003.
[37] J.M. Salles Dias et al., “mWorld: A Multiuser 3D Virtual Environment,” IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 17, no. 2, Mar.-Apr. 1997.
[38] J. Smed, T. Kaukoranta, and H. Hakonen, “A Review on Networking and Multiplayer Computer Games,” Technical Report 454, Turku Centre for Computer Science, Apr. 2002.
[39] S. Singhal and M. Zyda, Networked Virtual Environments. Design and Implementation. Addison-Wesley, July 1999.
[40] P.T. Tam, “Communication Cost Optimization and Analysis in Distributed Virtual Environment,” Technical Report RM1026-TR98-0412, MPhil second term paper, Dept. of Computer Science & Eng., The Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong, 1998.
[41] H. Trefftz, I. Marsic, and M. Zyda, “Handling Heterogeneity in Networked Virtual Environments,” Presence, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 38-52, Feb. 2003.
[42] L. Zou, M. Ammar, and C. Diot, “An Evaluation of Grouping Techniques for State Dissemination in Networked Multi-User Games,” Proc. Ninth Int'l Symp. Modelling, Analysis, and Simulation of Computer and Telecomm. Systems (MASCOTS '01), Aug. 2001.

Index Terms:
Distributed applications, distributed/network graphics.
Citation:
Pedro Morillo, Juan M. Ordu?, Marcos Fern?ndez, Jos? Duato, "Improving the Performance of Distributed Virtual Environment Systems," IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, vol. 16, no. 7, pp. 637-649, July 2005, doi:10.1109/TPDS.2005.83
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.