Fully peer-to-peer virtual environments with 3D Voronoi Diagrams

Almashor, M 2014, Fully peer-to-peer virtual environments with 3D Voronoi Diagrams, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Computer Science and Information Technology, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Fully peer-to-peer virtual environments with 3D Voronoi Diagrams
Author(s) Almashor, M
Year 2014
Abstract The very notion of a fully Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Virtual Environment (VE) represents a unique challenge within the realm of networking and distributed systems. Online games are a prime example of VEs, with successful titles boasting of thousands of players. The scale of such applications places exacting demands on the underlying network. With the premium placed on accuracy and interaction speed, on-line games are sensitive to network latencies and bandwidth demands. By aiming for a P2P architecture, the task of managing a dynamic player population is made ever more daunting. Resource scalability and system resiliency, hallmark P2P characteristics, are hampered by the need for secure and responsive game-play. Inter-peer communications need to facilitate smooth game-play and consistency, while ensuring fairness. Simply, players will not tolerate slow connections, nor cheaters that modify peer updates. For these reasons, CS architectures have an established presence within this space. It is easier to restrict player connections to a centralised server, and thus validate game-play from there. Issues pertaining to the adjudication of player interactions, are almost trivialised. However, the obvious drawback to the CS approach is scalability. As the numbers soar, so does the demands placed on such centralised services. Whilst we often hear of the scale achieved in the numbers of active players for a particular game, less obvious is the fact that players are in distinct slices of the virtual world supported by a single server. And thus, the raison d'etre for a P2P-VE, and our efforts to eventuate it, becomes clearer. We seek to allow peers to seamlessly connect with one another within a continuous and evolving virtual world. Scalability limitations are cast aside with a P2P overlay designed to efficiently connect a heterogeneous peer population. For any VE, arbitrating player interactions is an inescapable need. On-line games involve collaboration and competition, requiring robust conflict resolution mechanisms. With CS, arbitration duties are assigned to provisioned servers. In a P2P system however, the issue looms large. As such, the facilitation of arbitration services is the focus of the work contained herein. Here, we exploit 3D Voronoi Diagrams (3D-VD) as a scalable, flexible and fault-tolerant P2P network overlay, to fluidly distribute arbitration services amongst peers. More than area partitioning tools, and the novelty here lies in our utilization of an additional 3rd dimension which embodies non-spatial metrics. Thus, the Z-axis is used to signify other measures, such as current resource capacity. The proposed approach effectuates more fluid self-organisation within the VE. Work-loads of resource intensive arbitration are handled dynamically at localised clusters. Service speed is ensured as peers easily appoint arbitrators amongst themselves. The result is a decentralised mechanism that addresses responsiveness and security concerns, and mitigates the limitations of CS architectures. Simulations verify the feasibility and performance of the technique, ultimately reducing arbitration failures. 3D-VD can also appropriately distribute loads and reduce fluctuations. We also augmented the 3D-VD technique with Newtonian laws that respond to high-demand areas and further reducing failed arbitration attempts.

Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Computer Science and Information Technology
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Created: Fri, 14 Nov 2014, 14:08:30 EST by Maria Lombardo
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