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Consistency in Continuous Distributed Interactive Media

Author(s): Martin Mauve.
Title: Consistency in Continuous Distributed Interactive Media
Published: Technical Report TR-99-009, Department for Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Mannheim, 1999
Keyword(s): Consistency, Continuous Distributed Interactive Media
Abstract: In this paper we investigate how consistency can be ensured for continuous distributed interactivemedia, i.e. distributed media which change their state in reaction to user initiated operations aswell as because of the passing of time. Existing approaches to reach consistency in discretedistributed interactive media are briefly outlined and it is shown that these fail in the continuousdomain. In order to allow a thorough discussion of the problem, a formal definition of the termconsistency in the continuous domain is given. Based on this definition we show that an importanttrade off relationship exists between the responsiveness of the medium and the appearance ofshort term inconsistencies. Currently this trade off is not taken into consideration for consistencyin the continuous domain, thereby severely limiting the consistency related fidelity for a largenumber of applications. We show that for those applications the fidelity can be significantly raisedby voluntarily decreasing the responsiveness of the medium. This concept is called local lag andit enables the distribution of continuous interactive media which are more vulnerable to short terminconsistencies than e.g. battlefield simulations. We prove that the concept of local lag is valid bydescribing how local lag was successfully used to ensure consistency in a 3D telecooperationapplication.
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