Publication: Beyond the LAN: Techniques from Network Games for Improving Groupware Performance

Networked games can provide groupware developers with important lessons in how to deal with real-world networking issues such as latency, limited bandwidth and packet loss. Games have similar demands and characteristics to groupware, but unlike the applications studied by academics, games have provided production-quality real-time interaction for many years. The techniques used by games have not traditionally been made public, but several game networking libraries have recently been released as open source, providing the opportunity to learn how games achieve network performance. We examined five game libraries to find networking techniques that could benefit groupware; this paper presents the concepts most valuable to groupware developers, including techniques to deal with limited bandwidth, reliability, and latency. Some of the techniques have been previously reported in the networking literature; therefore, the contribution of this paper is to survey which techniques have been shown to work, over several years, and then to link these techniques to quality requirements specific to groupware. By adopting these techniques, groupware designers can dramatically improve network performance on the real-world Internet.

Downloads

PDF

Participants

Jeff Dyck
University of Saskatchewan
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
T.C. Nicholas Graham David Pinelle
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

Citation

Dyck, J., Gutwin, C., Graham, T., Pinelle, D. 2007. Beyond the LAN: Techniques from Network Games for Improving Groupware Performance. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Organizational Computing and Groupware Technologies, 291-300. DOI=10.1145/1316624.1316669.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {game-networks,
author= {Jeff Dyck and Carl Gutwin and T.C. Nicholas Graham and David Pinelle},
title= {Beyond the LAN: Techniques from Network Games for Improving Groupware Performance},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Organizational Computing and Groupware Technologies},
year= {2007},
pages= {291-300}
}