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Consistency in Replicated Continuous Interactive Media

Author(s): Martin Mauve.
Title: Consistency in Replicated Continuous Interactive Media
Published: Proc. of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) 2000, pp. 181-190, Philadelphia, PA, USA, December 2000
Keyword(s): Consistency, Replicated Continuous Interactive Media
Abstract: In this paper we investigate how consistency can be ensured forreplicated continuous interactive media, i.e., replicated media whichchange their state in reaction to user initiated operations as well asbecause of the passing of time. Typical examples for this media classare networked computer games and distributed VR applications. Existingapproaches to reach consistency for replicated discrete interactivemedia are briefly outlined and it is shown that these fail in thecontinuous domain. In order to allow a thorough discussion of theproblem, a formal definition of the term consistency in the continuousdomain is given. Based on this definition we show that an importanttradeoff relationship exists between the responsiveness of the mediumand the appearance of short-term inconsistencies. Until now thistradeoff was not taken into consideration for consistency in thecontinuous domain, thereby severely limiting the consistency relatedfidelity for a large number of applications. We show that for thoseapplications the fidelity can be significantly raised by voluntarilydecreasing the responsiveness of the medium. This concept is calledlocal lag. It enables the distribution of continuous interactive mediathat are more vulnerable to short-term inconsistencies than, e.g.,battlefield simulations. We prove that the concept of local lag isvalid by describing how local lag was successfully used to ensureconsistency in a 3D telecooperation application.
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