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Platform for Interactive Networked Games

Objective

The PING project intends to specify, develop and demonstrate a flexible and scalable architecture for large-scale interactive multi-participant applications on the Internet and to contribute to standards in this field. The PING architecture will be developed as an object-oriented software framework which will be validated by a suite of network trials. The main technical challenge of the project is to maintain a globally consistent shared environment for a large population of geographically dispersed users while maintaining real-time interactivity and seamless navigation. The PING infrastructure will feature a scalable network and persistence architecture, real-time consistency protocols, network latency hiding techniques and reactive programming tools.

Objectives:
The PING project seeks to specify, develop and demonstrate an open and scalable architecture for large-scale interactive shared virtual world applications on the Internet which can support persistent environments involving several thousands of simultaneous participants dispersed geographically over large distances. The PING project will build a run-time infrastructure consisting of communication, storage and real-time simulation components. PING will also provide programming facilities for designing active object behaviour at a high-level of abstraction. The project lays the emphasis on openness and interoperability and will actively contribute to standardisation efforts. Different scalability enabling techniques exploiting the spatial and semantic structure of large-scale virtual worlds will be used in order to provide each user with a consistent view of the shared environment while maintaining interactivity and seamless navigation.

Work description:
The PING project consists of several concurrent threads of work which focus on different issues at the application and system level. A workpackage is in charge of designing the software framework and of integrating the different infrastructure components detailed below while maintaining architectural consistency between them. The design and development of the infrastructure is covered by three workpackages. The first one focuses on object and event management. It will specify an object model as well as spatial structuring and object grouping policies adapted to large-scale shared interactive virtual worlds. The project will design and implement consistency models which provide both causal and real-time guarantees despite the latency of the communication. Communication aspects of the run-time infrastructure are covered by a second workpackage. The project will design and develop a scalable and flexible network architecture combining the best features of server-based and distributed multicast-based approach. This network architecture will not be monolithic but will be closely integrated with the application semantics. The workpackage on object behaviours will build programming facilities for the design of high-level object behaviours within synthetic environments. It will adopt a reactive programming model well adapted to continuous interaction of virtual objects with their environment. The Trials and Validation workpackage is central within the PING project structure since it will drive the development of the aforementioned infrastructure components by an analysis of multi-user interactive application requirements, it will validate the PING technology through a thorough suite of network trials.

Milestones:
T0+6: Requirement analysis and state of the art evaluation;
T0+12: Specification of the platform architecture and infrastructure;
T0+24: Release of the platform.
The project aims to provide a open and flexible platform which can be used for a wide range of multi-participant interactive applications on the Internet. The success of the project will be judged by its contribution to standards for interactive shared virtual worlds and by the performance and scalability of the platform as assessed by the network rails carried out over the course of the project.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

FRANCE TELECOM
Address
6 Place D'alleray
75505 Paris 15
France

Participants (8)

ASSOCIATION POUR LA RECHERCHE ET LE DEVELOPPEMENT DES METHODES ET PROCESSUS INDUSTRIELS
France
Address
Boulevard Saint-michel 60
75272 Paris 6
ECOLE NATIONALE SUPERIEURE DES MINES DE PARIS
France
Address
Boulevard Saint Michel 60
75272 Paris
GROUPE DES ECOLES DES TELECOMMUNICATIONS
France
Address
46, Rue Barrault
75634 Paris 13
INSTITUT NATIONAL POLYTECHNIQUE DE GRENOBLE
France
Address
46 Avenue Felix Viallet
38031 Grenoble Cedex 1
KALISTO ENTERTAINMENT
France
Address
8 Quai Des Chartrons
33000 Bordeaux
SWEDISH INSTITUTE OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
Sweden
Address
Isafjordsgatan 22
164 29 Kista
THE UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER
United Kingdom
Address
Bailrigg
LA1 4YR Lancaster
THE UNIVERSITY OF READING
United Kingdom
Address
Whiteknights
RG6 6AH Reading