Title: Reducing game latency by migration, core-selection and TCP modifications

Authors: Paul B. Beskow, Andreas Petlund, Geir A. Erikstad, Carsten Griwodz, Pal Halvorsen

Addresses: Simula Research Laboratory, N-1325 Lysaker, Norway; Department of Informatics, Univ. Oslo, N-0316 Oslo, Norway. ' Simula Research Laboratory, N-1325 Lysaker, Norway; Department of Informatics, Univ. Oslo, N-0316 Oslo, Norway. ' Simula Research Laboratory, N-1325 Lysaker, Norway; Department of Informatics, Univ. Oslo, N-0316 Oslo, Norway. ' Simula Research Laboratory, N-1325 Lysaker, Norway; Department of Informatics, Univ. Oslo, N-0316 Oslo, Norway. ' Simula Research Laboratory, N-1325 Lysaker, Norway; Department of Informatics, Univ. Oslo, N-0316 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: Massively Multi-player Online Games (MMOGs) have stringent latency requirements and handle large numbers of concurrent players. To support these conflicting requirements, it is common to divide the virtual environment into virtual regions, and spawn multiple instances of isolated game areas, to serve multiple distinct groups of players. As MMOGs attract players across the world, dispersing these regions and instances on geographically distributed servers is plausible. With Ginnungagap, we present the prototype implementation and evaluation of functionality for migrating objects to support dynamic re-distribution of game-state, with a distributed name server efficiently maintaining references to migrated objects. Core-selection algorithms, using players latencies, can then locate an optimal placement for a given region or instance. The variance of the measured latencies (and core-selection algorithm) is reduced by enabling our TCP modifications for latency reduction for non-greedy streams. Correspondingly, we anticipate a decrease in aggregate latency for the affected players.

Keywords: latency reduction; massively multi-player online games; MMOGs; TCP enhancements; core selection algorithms; object migration; distributed name servers; game latency; gaming; computer games.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAMC.2010.036835

International Journal of Advanced Media and Communication, 2010 Vol.4 No.4, pp.343 - 363

Available online: 11 Nov 2010 *

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