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Massive multiuser virtual environments (MMVEs) and the idea of a global scale 3D Web have grown popular in recent years. While commercial precursors of such environments for the most part rely on centralized client/server architectures, it is commonly accepted that a global scale virtual online world can only be realized in a distributed fashion. Within the HyperVerse project, we have developed and recently presented a two-tier Peer-to-Peer (P2P) architecture that incorporates a loosely structured P2P overlay of user peers and a highly structured overlay of server machines constituting a reliable backbone service. In such a distributed environment, an essential question is how avatars are tracked and interconnected in order to allow mutual rendering and interaction. We have previously proposed a hybrid avatar management scheme that utilizes the backbone service for avatar tracking if necessary, but handles tracking in a P2P fashion when peers can track each other to reduce the backbone load. This paper presents a detailed performance analysis of this algorithm under a realistic scenario, using traces from a large scale MMVE called Second Life. Moreover this paper presents and evaluates an optimization for the hybrid avatar tracking scheme that can be utilized under a weaker condition.
Date of Conference: 8-11 Dec. 2009