Universität Duisburg-Essen
Verteilte Systeme
Distributed Network Simulation for Massively Multiplayer Virtual Environments
Prüfer Prof. Dr.-Ing. Torben Weis
Betreuer Dipl.-Inform. Sebastian Schuster
Bearbeiter Zhe Li
Beginn Juli 2008
Dauer 6 Monate

The peers@play project is a joint project of the distributed systems research group together with the universities of Mannheim and Hannover. Its goal is the creation of an interactive three-dimensional virtual world model. Such a model can be useful in virtual societies. They have gained much attention in the last years, in the World Wide Web (e.g. Web 2.0) as well as in 3D applications (e.g. Second Life). Technically, peers@play should be realized fully distri-buted based on a peer-to-peer architecture. We expect a high degree of heterogeneity of devices and communication networks, so users should be able to access our platform using any device to participate in the virtual society. Peers@play is aimed at having thousands of users take part in the same virtual world. To actually deliver an enjoyable experience, consistency must be ensured and the world must react fast to user actions. This becomes a huge challenge in a peer-to-peer network consisting of thousands of nodes with varying latency and bandwidth. To actually find out, whether the peers@play approach is feasible, several scenarios have to be tested. However, running real world tests with networks as large as planned for peers@play is not feasible. The only possible way is to run simulations. In order to simulate thousands of nodes running the peers@play software, a distributed simulation splitting the simulation workload between multiple hosts is needed. There are a few network simulators available. However, it is unclear whether they meet the requirements of peers@play with regards to network size and simulation speed. Finally, the simulator must be compatible with .Net, the platform peers@play is built upon. So far, no simulator implemented with .Net is available.

The goal of this thesis is to provide peers@play with a distributed simulator for evaluation. First, existing simulators should be assessed with regard to our main requirements. If there is a viable candidate, a bridge connecting .Net with the simulator should be designed and implemented. Furthermore, setup and evaluation support tools should be designed. In case no appropriate simulators are available, a new distributed simulator based on .Net should be designed and implemented. This includes analyzing pessimistic and optimistic schemes for ensuring consistency and performing various optimizations, taking advantage of the fact that peers@play does not need very detailed network level simulation. Finally, the simulator should be evaluated based on several artificial scenarios inspired by typical message patterns of virtual worlds.

Requirements: Knowledge in distributed systems and event-based simulation. Skills in object oriented programming in C# are also necessary.


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