Cédric Fleury, Thierry Duval, Valérie Gouranton, and Bruno Arnaldi
Ensuring that all the users see the same state of a Collaborative Virtual Environment (CVE) at the same time is very important to provide effective collaboration between these users. Absolute consistency is nearly impossible to achieve because it would prejudice the system responsiveness during user interactions. Consequently, existing solutions make a trade-off between consistency and system responsiveness according to their own requirements. We propose a new adaptive data distribution model that is able to dynamically change data distribution according to application requirements, user's actions and functions that virtual objects fulfill in the virtual environment. Our solutions can deal with several kinds of requirements imposed by various applications and network constraints. The choice of the data distribution can be made at the object level because all the objects of a virtual environment do not necessarily have the same need for consistency. Finally, we evaluate this model for collaborative scientific data visualization using a client/server architecture and HTTP/HTTPS connections. The results show that our model can minimize both interaction latency and gap in consistency between users, so it enables users to always perform real-time interactions in a consistent CVE.
Categories and Subject Descriptors (according to ACM CCS): Information Interfaces and Presentation [H.5.3]: Group and Organization Interfaces-Computer-supported cooperative work; Computer-Communication Networks [C.2.4]: Distributed Systems-Distributed applications; Computer Graphics [I.3.7]: 3-Dimensional Graphics and Realism-Virtual reality