Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 45, Issue 1–3, pp 313–345 | Cite as

A hybrid P2P communications architecture for zonal MMOGs

  • Dewan Tanvir AhmedEmail author
  • Shervin Shirmohammadi
  • Jauvane C. de Oliveira


Distributed Virtual Environments are becoming more popular in today’s computing and communications among people. Perhaps the most widely used form of such environments is Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG), which are in the form of client/server architecture that requires considerable server resources to manage a large number of distributed players. Peer-to-peer communication can achieve scalability at lower cost but may introduce other difficulties. Synchronous communication is a prime concern for multi-user collaborative applications like MMOGs where players need frequently interaction with each other to share their game states. In this article, we present a hybrid MMOG architecture called MM-VISA (Massively Multiuser VIrtual Simulation Architecture). In this architecture, servers and peers are coupled together to take the inherent advantages of the centralized architecture and the scalability of distributed systems. As the virtual world is decomposed into smaller manageable zones, the players’ random movement causes reorganization at the P2P overlay structure. The frequent nature of movements along with unintelligent zone crossing approaches, currently implemented in MMOGs, breaks synchronous communication. To limit such problem, we consider players’ gaming characteristics to intelligently define routing paths. A graph-theoretic framework is incorporated for overlay oriented real-time distributed virtual environments. We shall show that interest-driven zone crossing, dynamic shared region between adjacent zones, and clustering of entities based on their attributes significantly decrease unstable overlay situations. The effectiveness of the presented system is justified through simulation.


MMOG Area of interest management Fault tolerance Multi-user interaction Networked games 


  1. 1.
    Ahmed D, Shirmohammadi S, Kazem I (2006) Zone based messaging in collaborative virtual environments. In: IEEE international workshop on haptic audio visual environments and their applications (HAVE), 2006, pp 165–170Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ahmed D, Shirmohammadi S, Oliveira J (2007) Improving gaming experience in zonal mmogs. In: MULTIMEDIA ’07: proceedings of the 15th international conference on multimedia. ACM, New York, pp 581–584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Assiotis M, Tzanov V (2006) A distributed architecture for mmorpg. In: NetGames ’06: proceedings of 5th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on network and system support for games. ACM, New York, p 4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Banerjee S, Bhattacharjee B, Kommareddy C (2002) Scalable application layer multicast. In: SIGCOMM ’02: proceedings of the 2002 conference on applications, technologies, architectures, and protocols for computer communications. ACM, New York, pp 205–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Borella M (2000) Source models of network game traffic. Comput Commun 23:403–410CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chambers C, Feng W-c, Sahu S, Saha D (2005) Measurement-based characterization of a collection of on-line games. In: IMC ’05: proceedings of the 5th ACM SIGCOMM conference on internet measurement. USENIX, Berkeley, p 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chen K-T, Huang P, Huang C-Y, Lei C-L (2005) Game traffic analysis: an mmorpg perspective. In: NOSSDAV ’05: proceedings of the international workshop on network and operating systems support for digital audio and video. ACM, New York, pp 19–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Claypool M, Claypool K (2006) Latency and player actions in online games. ACM Commun 49(11):40–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    DFC intelligence (2003) Challenges and opportunities in the online game market.
  10. 10.
    Diot C, Levine B, Lyles B, Kassem H, Balensiefen D (2000) Deployment issues for the ip multicast service and architecture. IEEE Netw 14(1):78–88. doi: 10.1109/65.819174 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    El-Sayed A, Roca V, Mathy L (2003) A survey of proposals for an alternative group communication service. IEEE Netw 17(1):47–54 (special issue on multicasting: an enableing technology)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Guizzo E (2008) The game-frame guild. IEEE Spectrum 45(8):44–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hosseini M, Ahmed D, Shirmohammadi S, Georganas N (2007) A survey of application-layer multicast protocols. IEEE Commun Surv Tutor 9(3):58–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hu S-Y, Chen J-F, Chen T-H (2006) VON: a scalable peer-to-peer network for virtual environments. IEEE Netw 20(4):22–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    IEEE (1998) Ieee standard for distributed interactive simulation—application protocols. IEEE, PiscatawayGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Iimura T, Hazeyama H, Kadobayashi Y (2004) Zoned federation of game servers: a peer-to-peer approach to scalable multi-player online games. In: NetGames ’04: proceedings of 3rd ACM SIGCOMM workshop on network and system support for games. ACM, New York, pp 116–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Knutsson B, Lu H, Xu W, Hopkins B (2004) Peer-to-peer support for massively multiplayer games.
  18. 18.
    Lang T, Branch P, Armitage G (2004) A synthetic traffic model for quake3. In: ACE ’04: proceedings of the 2004 ACM SIGCHI international conference on advances in computer entertainment technology. ACM, New York, pp 233–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lety E, Turletti T, Baccelli F (2004) SCORE: a scalable communication protocol for large-scale virtual environments. IEEE/ACM Trans Netw 12(2):247–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Oliveira J, Georganas N (2003) VELVET: an adaptive hybrid architecture for very large virtual environments. Presence: Teleoper Virtual Environ 12(60):555–580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Park K, Kenyon R (1999) Effects of network characteristics on human performance in a collaborative virtual environment. In: VR ’99: proceedings of the IEEE virtual reality. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, p 104Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pullen J (1999) Reliable multicast network transport for distributed virtual simulation. In: DIS-RT ’99: proceedings of the 3rd international workshop on distributed interactive simulation and real-time applications. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, p 59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Shirmohammadi S, Georganas N (2001) An end-to-end communication architecture for collaborative virtual environments. Comput Netw 35(2–3):351–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Smed J, Kaukoranta T, Hakonen H (2001) Aspects of networking in multiplayer computer games. In: International conference on application and development of computer games in the 21st century. pp 74–81Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Varvello M, Biersack E, Diot C (2007) Dynamic clustering in delaunay-based p2p networked virtual environments. In: NetGames ’07: proceedings of the 6th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on network and system support for games. ACM, New York, pp 105–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wu J, Li H (1999) On calculating connected dominating set for efficient routing in ad hoc wireless networks. In: DIALM ’99: proceedings of the 3rd international workshop on discrete algorithms and methods for mobile computing and communications. ACM, New York, pp 7–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Yu A, Vuong S (2005) MOPAR: a mobile peer-to-peer overlay rrchitecture for interest management of massively multiplayer online games. In: NOSSDAV ’05: proceedings of the international workshop on network and operating systems support for digital audio and video. ACM, New York, pp 99–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dewan Tanvir Ahmed
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shervin Shirmohammadi
    • 1
  • Jauvane C. de Oliveira
    • 2
  1. 1.Distributed and Collaborative Virtual Environments Research Laboratory, School of Information Technology and EngineeringUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.ACiMA Laboratory, Computer Science DepartmentNational Laboratory of Scientific ComputingRio de JaneiroBrazil

Personalised recommendations