Continuous prewarping of time for multiuser interactive virtual environments
Sharkey, P. and Kumar, A. (1995) Continuous prewarping of time for multiuser interactive virtual environments. In: SPIE International Symposium, Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies, II, Oct., 1995, Philadelphia, USA, pp. 160-171.
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1117/12.227941
Dynamic multi-user interactions in a single networked virtual environment suffer from abrupt state transition problems due to communication delays arising from network latency--an action by one user only becoming apparent to another user after the communication delay. This results in a temporal suspension of the environment for the duration of the delay--the virtual world `hangs'--followed by an abrupt jump to make up for the time lost due to the delay so that the current state of the virtual world is displayed. These discontinuities appear unnatural and disconcerting to the users. This paper proposes a novel method of warping times associated with users to ensure that each user views a continuous version of the virtual world, such that no hangs or jumps occur despite other user interactions. Objects passed between users within the environment are parameterized, not by real time, but by a virtual local time, generated by continuously warping real time. This virtual time periodically realigns itself with real time as the virtual environment evolves. The concept of a local user dynamically warping the local time is also introduced. As a result, the users are shielded from viewing discontinuities within their virtual worlds, consequently enhancing the realism of the virtual environment.