Media Management Research Lab

National University of Singapore

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Project Peer-to-Peer Audio Streaming

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Location-adaptive P2P Audio Streaming

In the past few years the Internet has become an important platform for large-scale interactive applications. One type of such applications are networked virtual environments (NVE) where users can move a representation of themselves (also known as avatar) in the shared virtual world and interact with each other. One of the most wellknown examples of an NVE is SecondLife. Such virtual worlds are interesting for a number of reasons. Most importantly, some of these virtual worlds are not applications per se, but they form the foundation for the creation of specific applications. For example, SecondLife has been used for virtual meetings, training and recruitment by large corporations. As a consequence, the term metaverse has also been used to describe such generic NVEs. Of course, one of the biggest application areas for NVEs are games, also termed Massively Multiple-player Online Games (MMOG).

Very large NVEs present a plethora of research challenges. Among them are scalability of network traffic and server environments, end-to-end delay of user interactions, humancomputer interface issues, and more. For some of these problems fairly good solutions have been found, for example the visual quality of the 3D environments in these shared worlds is quite good and constantly improving through better hardware and software algorithms. However, one area that has been sorely lagging behind in terms of natural interaction has been natural audio communication. Voice interaction between NVE participants is still in its very early stages and leaves much to be desired. The most widely used mode of communication in these shared worlds is through text chat. While this is a mature technology that is relatively easy to implement (and efficient in its network bandwidth use), we feel that it lacks much of the natural and immersive characteristic that good-quality voice communication could provide for its users. Some commercial voice communication tools are available now (e.g., TeamSpeak, Ventrillo and others) but they are all based on centralized client-server architectures.

With our project we address the significant challenge of designing a location-adaptive audio streaming architecture for NVEs based on a peer-to-peer distribution topology. Specifically, the architecture supports proximity audio, an audio distribution mode that allows for a natural and automatic control of group sizes in online virtual environments such as Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) games.

People Involved
Roger Zimmermann
Beomjoo Seo
Min Min Htoon
Ke Liang
Zhijie Shen

Project Web Site

  • The project web site is GDME. In addition to more details about the project the site also includes a sample Java client application that lets users access our borehole data repository.

Additional Information

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 August 2018 12:03