MMVE 2009

The 2nd International Workshop on Massively Multiuser Virtual Environments at IEEE Virtual Reality 2009
March 15th, 2009, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA

[ News | Introduction | Schedule | Call for Papers | Important Dates | Organizers | Committee | IEEE VR ]


MMVE'09 is over - Papers & Slides Available
The workshop event has passed. We had a great time with very interesting talks and discussions. Papers and slides for all talks given at the workshop are available in the workshop schedule section (see here). You can find pictures from the workshop here.

Workshop Schedule
The final workshop schedule and links to the papers are now online (see here).

Keynote by Jeff Kesselman
CTO of Rebel Monkey Inc., Originator of Project Darkstar
Jeff Kesselman is currently the Chief Technical Officer at Rebel Monkey Inc, a New York based start-up doing socially oriented online game play. Previous to Rebel Monkey he spent 9 years at Sun Microsystems where he did Java Platform performance tuning and worked closely with Sun's Chief Gaming Officer on game industry initiatives. His last title was Chief Instigator on the Sun Labs Project Darkstar team - an online game server he conceived of and built the prototype for. Before coming to Sun he worked at numerous game industry startups. He was the Senior Game Integration Engineer at internet-gaming pioneer Total Entertainment Network (TEN) where he wrote networking code for games such as Duke Nukem 3D, Civnet, Total Annihilation and Dark Sun Online. Prior to TEN, he worked in the Crystal Dynamics tool group writing portable game libraries. His libraries were used in games such as Titan, The Horde and GEX.
Mr. Kesselman is the co-author of the classic performance tuning text "Java Platform Performance, Strategies and Tactics" and has been a regular speaker at conferences such as Java One and SHARE.


With the increasing number of potential users of virtual and augmented reality systems, as indicated by the recent boom of massively multiuser online societies, the design of distributed, massively multiuser virtual environments becomes more and more important, posing new requirements on both distribution platforms and virtual reality systems. Facing these challenges is a community-spanning effort, necessitating the pooling of the resources and experiences of the virtual reality and the networking and distributed computing communities. The aim of this workshop is to provide a link between these communities to foster the development of highly distributed, flexible and robust virtual environments. Following up on last year’s very successful workshop (MMVE’08) at IEEE VR, we aim to gather the practitioners and researchers in these fields under one roof to discuss their findings, incite collaboration, and move the state of the art forward.

Workshop Schedule

8:30am - 8:35Welcome [slides]
8:35am - 10:00amKeynote
Session Chair: Shun-Yun Hu, National Central University, Taiwan
    Title: Massively Multi-player Online Environments: Memories of the Past, Visions of the Future [slides]
    by Jeff Kesselman, CTO, Rebel Monkey Inc.

    A favorite topic among pundits and late night beer drinkers is "what is coming next." However, its is impossible to come up with an accurate idea of the future trends without an adequate knowledge of what in the past got us to where we are now. In this keynote he will briefly cover the significant causal factors that have led the game industry to its current state with regard to Massively Multiple Online Environments, and then identify the key influences, issues and disruptors that will lead to the next evolutions in this space.

10:00am - 10:30amCoffee break
10:30am - 12:00pmSession 1
Session Chair: Gregor Schiele, Universitaet Mannheim, Germany
  1. Dessign Issues for Peer-to-Peer Massively Multiplayer Online Games [paper, slides]
    by Lu Fan, Hamish Taylor, Phil Trinder (Heriot-Watt University, UK)

    Massively Multiplayer Online Games are becoming increasingly popular on the Internet. However, implementing them with a conventional Client/Server architecture suffers from various technical and commercial drawbacks. This has awakened research interest in adapting MMOGs to a Peer-to-Peer architecture. This paper surveys six essential issues in the implementation of a P2P MMOG. They are interest management, game event dissemination, NPC host allocation, game state persistency, cheating mitigation and incentive mechanisms.

  2. Spatial Publish Subscribe [paper, slides]
    by Shun-Yun Hu (National Central University, Taiwan)

    Publish / subscribe is a well-known mechanism adopted by many applications to allow entities interested in certain information (i.e., the subscribers) to receive relevant messages from certain message generators (i.e., the publishers). We argue that for networked or distributed virtual environment (VE) applications, a spatial publish / subscribe (SPS), where each entity can receive messages generated within a specified space in the VE, is a fundamental mechanism underlying various VE applications. It is therefore of importance for the VE community to understand the main characteristics and limitations of SPS. This paper describes the basic mechanism of SPS, and how it can be used to support various existing VE requirements such as overlay management, state management, or content management. Potential ways to implement SPS are also outlined to allow interested parties to develop their own implementations.

  3. HyperVerse - Simulation and Testbed Reconciled [paper, slides]
    by Jean Botev, Markus Esch, Hermann Schloss, Ingo Scholtes, Peter Sturm (University of Trier, University of Luxembourg)

    When dealing with dynamic and large-scale topologies such as those underlying peer-to-peer (P2P) distributed virtual environments (DVE), one inescapably reaches the point where either real-life user input during simulations or experiments within test environments do not reach a critical mass to be considered strong and sustainable proof of the applied concepts. The restrictions resulting from the reciprocity and strict disjunction of simulation and test environments make it cumbersome to get a comprehensive assessment, and thus hinder more efficient development of adaptive algorithms and techniques for DVEs as they are investigated in our HyperVerse research project. Within this paper we present a hybrid evaluation system designed to combine the advantages of simulations and experiments. The proposed infrastructure exhibits great flexibility particularly alluring in view of the multitude of potential research in the context of DVEs.

12:00pm-1:45pmLunch break
1:45pm - 3:15pmSession 2
Session Chair: Arno Wacker, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  1. Deadline-Driven Auctions for NPC Host Allocation in P2P MMOGs [paper, slides]
    by Lu Fan, Hamish Taylor, Phil Trinder (Heriot-Watt University, UK)

    This paper presents the design, implementation and evaluation of Deadline-Driven Auctions (DDA), a novel task mapping infrastructure for heterogeneous distributed environments. DDA is primarily designed to support the hosting of Non-Player Characters (NPCs) in P2P Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs). Experimental and analytical results demonstrate that DDA provides four significant advantages. Firstly, it is self-organising as the infrastructure can be automatically assembled and managed. Secondly, it efficiently allocates computing resources for large numbers of real-time NPC tasks in a simulated P2P MMOG with the better part of 1000 players. Thirdly, it supports gaming interactivity by keeping the communication latency among NPC hosts and ordinary players low. Finally, it supports flexible matchmaking policies, and with a friendly incentive policy, can establish a cooperative economic model that helps motivate application participants to contribute their resources to the system.

  2. QuON -- a Quad-Tree Based Overlay Protocol for Distributed Virtual Worlds [paper, slides]
    by Stephan Krause, Helge Backhaus (Universitaet Karlsruhe, Germany)

    Massively Multiplayer Online Games and Virtual Worlds are among the most popular applications on the Internet. As player numbers increase, the limits of the currently dominant client/server architecture are becoming obvious. In this paper we propose a new distributed event dissemination protocol for Virtual Worlds and MMOGs. This protocol is based upon the idea of mutual notification: All players send their game event messages directly to all neighboring players inside their Area of Interest. The connectedness of the system is ensured by binding neighbors. They are selected using quad-trees. We show by simulation that the proposed system achieves practical performance for Virtual Worlds and Massively Multiplayer Online Games.

  3. Middleware Mechanisms for Interaction Interoperability in Collaborative Virtual Environments [paper, slides]
    by Mario Ciampi, Luigi Gallo, Antonio Coronato, Giuseppe De Pietro (ICAR-CNR, Italy)

    In this paper, we discuss interaction interoperability in Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVE), intended to mean the ability of two or more users to cooperate despite the heterogeneity of their interfaces. To allow such interoperability, rather than focusing on the de-coupling of input devices from interaction techniques and from interaction tasks, we suggest integrating interactive systems at higher level through an interface standardization. To achieve this aim, we propose: i) an architectural model able to handle differences in input devices and interaction tasks; ii) an agent-based middleware that provides basic components to integrate heterogeneous user interfaces. We also present a prototype of an agent-based middleware able to support developers in the interconnection of monolithic applications and we introduce tools and languages we have used to formalize the interaction tasks considered in the case study.

3:15pm-3:45pmCoffee break
3:45pm-5:30pmOpen panel discussion & Closing remarks
Session Chair: Gregor Schiele, Universitaet Mannheim, Gemany
  • Getting the user in the loop
  • Three great ideas you would like to try in a virtual environment

Call for Papers

The main topic of this workshop is to provide a critical analysis of existing distribution approaches for virtual environments and to identify key challenges and techniques that are required for bringing VR systems into the global Internet, interconnecting thousands of users in a single environment. More specifically the workshop addresses the following issues:
  1. Scalability, i.e. the ability to handle thousands of (possibly nearby) users at the same time, interacting via the global Internet.
  2. Interoperability, i.e. the ability to integrate multiple virtual worlds and/or service providers, e.g. using common protocols or universal clients.
  3. Interactivity, i.e. how to provide highly responsive environments with near real time interaction despite network delay and jitter.
  4. Bandwidth restricted (mobile) end user devices, e.g. the integration of mobile devices for nomadic augmented reality applications.
  5. Dynamic and flexible distribution architectures, e.g. self-adapting client/server, peer-to-peer and hybrid architectures.
  6. Content streaming, e.g. sound and 3D streaming.
  7. Consistency, i.e. providing consistency guarantees to users of the distributed environment, despite the high level of responsiveness necessary and the experienced network delay.
  8. Persistency, i.e. the ability to save and access the state of the virtual environment despite disconnections and faulty components.
  9. Security and privacy, e.g. distributed authentication algorithms that allow users to participate in the environment securely and without fear of being spied on.
  10. Implementation issues, e.g. novel approaches to effectively manage the complexity of developing applications for such environments.

Submission Guidelines

Paper submissions must cover one of the topics listed above, or a closely-related one. Submitted papers should be about 5-6 pages long, use the IEEE proceedings format and must be blinded. Research papers must be original prior unpublished work and not under review elsewhere. All submissions will be peer-reviewed (double blind) and selected based on their originality, merit, and relevance to the workshop.

All papers must be registered before submitting them. Registrations and submissions are handled online with our electronic submission system. To register / submit a paper, click here:

Paper submission is closed.

Accepted papers must be presented at the workshop. Similar to last year, we plan to publish selected papers from the workshop in an international journal. If you have any questions, please email us at


Important Dates

Submission Deadline: January 30th, 2009
Acceptance Notification: February 9th, 2009
Camera Ready Version: February 22nd, 2009
Workshop Date: March 15th, 2008



Technical Program Committee (prelim.)