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Supporting visualization pipelines over wide-area networks is critical to enabling large-scale scientific applications that require visual feedback to interactively steer online computations. We propose a remote computational steering system that employs analytical models to estimate the cost of computing and communication components and optimizes the overall system performance in distributed environments with heterogeneous resources. We formulate and categorize the visualization pipeline configuration problems for maximum frame rate into three classes according to the constraints on node reuse or resource sharing, namely no, contiguous, and arbitrary reuse. We prove all three problems to be NP-complete and present heuristic approaches based on a dynamic programming strategy. The superior performance of the proposed solution is demonstrated with extensive simulation results in comparison with existing algorithms and is further evidenced by experimental results collected on a prototype implementation deployed over the Internet.