Networked Virtual Environments


 

Virtual reality is nowadays viewed as the solution for achieving communication and collaboration between scattered users, in various areas of interest, such as entertainment, learning, training, etc. This led to the creation of Networked Virtual Environments (NVEs). NVEs is a twofold term. Even though the "Virtual Environments" part prevails, the "networked" substance changes the meaning and nature of these environments. Regarding the Virtual Environment, it can be considered as a simulation generated by a computer and can simulate either an imaginary or real world. As far as it concerns the "networked" part of the term, this dimension is mainly related to the support of multiple concurrent users, scattered around the globe, even though Networked Virtual Environments can be single user applications, as for example the Streamed Browser Worlds. RU6 is working on the design and development of NVEs, where the user can navigate through the 3D virtual worlds and interact with different objects and with other users. Main aim is the exploitation of the functional characteristics of NVEs in order to support advanced services such as CSCW, e-learning, etc.). Detailed topics are the research on both the technical and functional characteristics of NVEs, design and development of platforms to support NVEs, development of 3D objects and worlds for use in NVEs etc.

 
Design and Development of 3D Applications
RU6 has been working on the design and development of Networked Virtual Environments that integrate and support various types of functionalities, as: a) text communication, b) audio communication, c) gestures, d) application sharing. Some of the applications developed by RU6, include EVE, a multi-user platform, which is based on open source technologies (i.e. X3D) and facilitates the communication and collaboration process through various services, integrated in one environment. In addition RU6 has developed 3D standalone and multi-user networked virtual laboratories, aimed to support the learning procedure in the field of radiopharmacy. 
To this direction RU6 has implemented a platform, called EVE, which supports networked multi-user virtual environments. For more information contact us at bouras@cti.gr.

Back to top

Algorithms for Large-Scale Virtual Environments

One of the key issues in the design of scalable and cost effective large-scale Distributed Virtual Environments is the partitioning problem, which is related to the efficient assignment of the workload of the applications to the servers of the system. 
To this direction, RU6 conducts research on algorithms and techniques that could be adopted and applied for achieving effective partitioning results. The research is realized through extensive experiments, which simulate a variety of diverse scenarios for achieving an optimal partitioning solution.

Back to top

Architectures and Protocols

RU6 is working on the design and development of NVEs, where the user can navigate through the 3D virtual worlds and interact with different objects and with other users. Main aim is the exploitation of the functional characteristics of NVEs in order to support advanced services such as CSCW, e-learning, etc.). Detailed topics are the research on both the technical and functional characteristics of NVEs, design and development of platforms to support NVEs, development of 3D objects and worlds for use in NVEs etc.

Back to top

Performance Evaluation and Monitoring Techniques

The performance of network applications has always been a critical factor for the designers, since it has a great impact on the applications' approval by the target groups. For NVEs, where the sizes of the virtual worlds, the graphics and the variety of the provided services result in demanding applications, the performance evaluation and monitoring is of great importance. 
RU6 is working on the design and implementation of algorithms and mechanisms that could face efficiently the challenges inducted by the network as well as to the performance monitoring of the implemented network software in order to identify the boundaries in which the applications could operate efficiently.

Back to top