Peer to Peer Virtual Worlds

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Background article on Peer-to-Peer Virtual Worlds at




" VastPark, an Australian company that provides foundations for virtual worlds, is planning to use new technology from National ICT Australia (NICTA), a research institute, to solve this problem.

NICTA's system incorporates peer-to-peer networks, which help reduce the load of sudden crowds by getting bandwidth and processing resources from each new user who makes a demand on the network. Santosh Kulkarni, a senior researcher in the network information processing group at NICTA, says that the peer-to-peer networks will also reduce the cost of infrastructure for companies who use it in their virtual worlds, since the system allows more users to sign up for a world, without requiring the company to support them with more servers.

Wu-chang Feng, an associate professor of computer science at Portland State University, who researches the network architecture of virtual worlds, says that NICTA's technology is "not suitable for games, but pretty compelling for virtual communities."" (

NICTA P2P Technology for Virtual Worlds


"figuring out how to map this content onto a peer-to-peer network is a completely different problem from figuring out how to divide content for common peer-to-peer applications, such as file sharing. NICTA's technology, he explains, divides the space in a virtual world into regions, and peers become responsible for hosting the regions. As the regions become more populated, they are further subdivided, and more peers become responsible for the pieces. When a user's client wants to find out about the objects around her avatar, it sends a request to the network, which finds the peer hosting her current region. That peer puts the user's computer in touch with the peers closest to her in the virtual world, who have information about her surroundings. The system also contains code to reduce the load on the network, such as an algorithm that notices clusters of users moving around the world together and consolidates their update requests into a single query." (


"There are other efforts at developing peer-to-peer networks for virtual worlds, such as Solipsis and VAST. These systems use different algorithms to map virtual worlds to peer-to-peer."