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This paper describes and analyzes SCORE, a scalable multicast-based communication protocol for large-scale virtual environments (LSVE) on the Internet. Today, many of these applications have to handle an increasing number of participants and deal with the difficult problem of scalability. We propose an approach at the transport layer, using multiple multicast groups and multiple agents. This approach involves the dynamic partitioning of the virtual environment into spatial areas and the association of these areas with multicast groups. It uses a method based on the theory of planar point processes to determine an appropriate cell size, so that the incoming traffic at the receiver side remains with a given probability below a sufficiently low threshold. We evaluate the performance of our scheme and show that it allows to significantly improve the participants' satisfaction while adding very low overhead.
Date of Publication: April 2004