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With the emergence of massive multiplayer online games (MMOG) and distributed distant learning/e-learning applications, distributed virtual environments (DVE) have received a good deal of attention. As a highly human-computer interacting environment, DVE provides an ideal platform for real-time message exchanges among virtual objects, human-beings. However, consistency and scalability are becoming indispensable challenges considering the complexities of the existing heterogeneous network architecture as well as the state synchronization requirement of DVEs. In this paper, we made an effort to address these issues by proposing a novel JXTA-based overlay peer to peer architecture for large scale distributed collaborative virtual simulation environments. Compared with our previous implementations based on Department of Defense (DoDpsilas) High Level Architecture (HLA/RTI), this novel architecture is able to provide consistency, scalability and fault tolerance by taking advantages of state-of-the-art of the peer to peer computing paradigm. Our experimental results show that the scalability of DVEs is improved significantly whit our Peer-to-Peer DVE architecture. As a step further, we also propose a time and state synchronization algorithm and evaluate its performance using a series of simulation experiments.
Date of Conference: 18-19 Oct. 2008