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     ASCEND is a collective effort to construct programming libraries that will faciliate the creations of scalable, affordable, and accessible peer-to-peer (P2P)-based 3D networked virtual environments (NVEs) where participants may share data (e.g. files, photos, blogs) and interact with one another in real-time. ASCEND is based on the scalable Voronoi-based overlay network (VON) and a number of important P2P-based NVE (P2P-NVE) issues will be investigated, including: 3D streaming for P2P-NVEs, state management in P2P-NVEs, persistent storage designed for P2P-NVEs, and suitable P2P-NVE overlays. Libraries that support the above functions will be released under the GNU's Lesser General Public License (LGPL). ASCEND's motivation is based on three important Internet trends: the rising popularity of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), the scalability potential of P2P networks, and the rapid growth of user-generated contents such as blog, file and photo sharing. We hope that ASCEND may bridge the transitions toward the next stage of Internet communication that is 3D-based, highly interactive, and user-empowering. ASCEND covers three major research topics:

    1) 3D Streaming for P2P-NVE: We will investigate how real-time streaming delivery of 3D contents (geometric meshes and textures) may be done in a scalable manner by using P2P networks. We intend to devise distributed visibility determination and parallel streaming methods in order to relieve server load and to shorten client-side download time.

    2) State Management in P2P-NVE: We will investigate how the synchronization of object states and event ordering may be supported in a distributed P2P environment by assigning ownerships for each object within a NVE. We intend to adopt a fully-distributed consensus-based voting mechanism for the efficient and correct determination of object owners. An update propagation mechanism that provides high availability of object states in the face of a dynamically changing environment will also be investigated.

    3) Persistent Storage for P2P-NVE: We will investigate how persistent data may be supported in a P2P environment by using only a light-weight server for the eventual data backup. We intend to devise leader node election protocols and data aggregation techniques to support scheduled backups of object states without causing server overload.


ACNLab, National Central University, Taiwan

Copyright © 2006-2010, ASCEND Development Team
Last modified: July 11 2010.

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