A Network Communication Protocol for Distributed Virtual Environment Systems
Kessler, Gregory Drew
Hodges, Larry F.
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Virtual environment (VE) applications involve many different tasks, including interfacing with input and output devices, providing responsive user interaction, and simulating a dynamic environment. The variety and number of tasks lends the application to a distributed computing system, where different tasks are performed by different computing resources. A critical issue that arises from such a design is how information is communicated between tasks. In particular, for virtual environments, how information is communicated promptly is the critical issue. In this work, we describe a pattern of communication common between VE tasks which is not addressed by other communication protocols, namely the communication of state information that continuously changes. We describe a new protocol based on an updatable queue abstraction which allows obsolete state information to be discarded, and compare a prototype implementation of that abstraction with a standard communication protocol.