Context Sensitive Interaction Interoperability for Distributed Virtual Environments

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Virginia Tech


The number and types of input devices and related interaction technique types are growing rapidly. Innovative input devices such as game controllers are no longer used just for games, propriety consoles and specific applications, they are also used in many distributed virtual environments, especially the so-called serious virtual environments.

In this dissertation a distributed, service based framework is presented to offer context-sensitive interaction interoperability that can support mapping between input devices and suitable application tasks given the attributes (device, applications, users, and interaction techniques) and the current user context without negatively impacting performances of large scale distributed environments.

The mapping is dynamic and context sensitive taking into account the context dimensions of both the virtual and real planes. What device or device component to use, how and when to use them depend on the application, task performed, the user and the overall context, including location and presence of other users. Another use of interaction interoperability is as a testbed for input devices, and interaction techniques making it possible to test reality based interfaces and interaction techniques with legacy applications.

The dissertation provides a description how the framework provides these affordances and a discussion of motivations, goals and the addressed challenges. Several proof of the concept implementations were developed and an evaluation of the framework performance (in terms of system characteristics) demonstrates viability, scalability and negligible delays.



Distributed Virtual Environments, Scalability, Context Awareness, Service Centric Architectures, Interaction Interoperability, Distributed Systems