Virtual worlds, real traffic: interaction and adaptation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

21 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Metaverses such as Second Life (SL) are a relatively new type of Internet application. Their functionality is similar to online 3D games but differs in that users are able to construct the environment their avatars inhabit and are not constrained by predefined goals. From the network perspective metaverses are similar to games in that timeliness is important but differ in that their traffic is much less regular and requires more bandwidth This paper contributes to our understanding of metaverse traffic by validating previous studies and offering new insights. In particular we analyse the relationships between application functionality, SL's traffic control system and the wider network environment. Two sets of studies have been carried out: one of the traffic generated by a hands-on workshop which used SL; and a follow up set of controlled experiments to clarify some of the findings from the first study. The interplay between network latency, SL's traffic throttle settings, avatar density, and the errors in the client's estimation of avatar positions are demonstrated. These insights are of particular interest to those designing traffic management schemes for metaverses and help explain some of the oddities in the current user experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMMSys '10
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the first annual ACM SIGMM conference on Multimedia Systems
EditorsWu-chi Feng, Ketan Mayer-Patel
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-1-60558-914-5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Multi media
  • QoS
  • Virtual Worlds
  • Traffic measurement


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