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ToolSpace: a next generation computing environment

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2 Author(s)
T. Goddard ; Emory Univ., Atlanta, GA, USA ; V. S. Sunderam

A group of chemists each direct their Web browsers to a page containing an embedded virtual reality (VR) representation of a collection of molecules. Each chemist is represented in the VR world by an “avatar” reflecting position and view. The molecule is not a simple ball and stick model; depicted is the solvent accessible surface (SAS) surrounding a protein that the chemists fold in real time. They manipulate and measure the structures using tools from a variety of different vendors. As more collaborators join, performance actually improves as each Web browser loads an applet contributing to the SAS computation. Agents on the server coordinate computations amongst the dynamic pool of clients and act as interfaces to legacy software. ToolSpace is a Collaborative Virtual Environment (CVE) software framework with: a visualization client that runs in a standard Web browser equipped with a VRML plugin, a state sharing server that runs under any operating system with a Java virtual machine, and a set of Java classes for developing applications. The goal of the project is to prototype a next generation computing environment that is: multi-user collaborative, distributed, component and object based, platform independent, three dimensional, scalable with respect to computer hardware and input/output devices, and above all, easy to use and develop for. Such an environment has natural applications in fields ranging from chemistry, to crime scene analysis, to military war games

Published in:

High Performance Distributed Computing, 1998. Proceedings. The Seventh International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

28-31 Jul 1998