Report Number: CS-TR-96-1574
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: Effective Remote Modeling in Large-Scale Distributed Simulation and Visualization Environments
Author: Singhal, Sandeep K.
Date: September 1996
Abstract: A Distributed Interactive Simulation provides the illusion of a single, coherent virtual world to a group of users located at different machines connected by a network. Networked virtual environments are used for multiplayer video games, military and industrial training, and collaborative engineering. Network bandwidth, network latency, and host processing power limit the achievable size and detail of future simulations. This thesis describes network protocols and algorithms to support "remote modeling," allowing a host to model and render remote entities in large-scale distributed simulations. These techniques require fewer network resources and support more entity types than previous approaches. The Position History-Based Dead Reckoning (PHBDR) protocol provides accurate remote position modeling and minimizes dependencies on network performance and entity representation. PHBDR is a foundation for three protocols which model entity orientation, entity structural change, and entity groups. This thesis shows that a simple, efficient protocol can provide smooth, accurate remote position modeling and that it can be applied recursively to support entity orientation, structure, and aggregation at multiple levels of detail; these protocols offer performance and costs that are competitive with more complex and application-specific approaches, while providing simpler analyses of behavior by exploiting this recursive structure.