02 May 2012

Scalability for Virtual Worlds - Gupta 2009

Scalability for Virtual Worlds, Gupta 2009
  • Clients run the logic. Since server is only used for persistence and message forwarding, it can handle more clients.
  • Problem: weak clients may not be able to execute all the updates they receive in a timely manner. Solution: action-based server-side IM: find the read/write sets each action impacts (transitive closure of the following actions), and notify concerned clients to rollback.
  • Clients apply local actions to an optimistic model, and apply remote actions to a stable model. When applying the same action to optimistic and stable models, and the resulting models differ, need to rollback: the client asks the server to broadcast a fix it proposes. All other clients execute the fix, and if they conflict, send their own fix.
  • Problem: solving long chains of conflict resolutions takes bandwidth and time. Solution: reject fix messages that cause a chain longer than a certain threshold.
  • Experiment: 64 client machines running 1 bot each, moving every 300ms. When a bot collides into walls or another bot, it switches direction (more walls = more time to execute collision detection, more bots = more frequent conflicts). 1 server machine. Emulab with average latency between 2 machines of 238ms. Java.
  • Good: Collision detection takes 7ms per action, while computing an action closure takes 0.04ms. Hence, a traditional server executing the logic lags after 30 bots, while the simply-forwarding server lags after 3000 bots.
  • Bad: at least 20% extra bandwidth compared to server with logic. Drop 10% of actions to break long closure chains if bots are clustered together and move fast.

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