[MUD-Dev] New MMP Networking Architecture

Ling Lo ling at slimy.com
Wed Oct 17 08:02:33 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001


On Wed, 17 Oct 2001, Bruce Mitchener wrote:
> Adam Martin wrote:
>> From: "Lee Sheldon" <linearno at gte.net>

>>>  Ann Arbor, MI - October 2, 2001 - Cybernet Systems, an Ann
>>>  Arbor-based research and development firm, today announced the
>>>  availability of a new massive multi-player networking
>>>  architecture that enables developers to create online games in
>>>  which tens of thousands of players can simultaneously interact
>>>  in the same environment.

[snip snip]

> The above summary of Open Skies leaves out much of their history
> and grounding in solid research and implementations.  Open Skies
> bases their product on HLA, the Department of Defense standard
> "High Level Architecture" which was the successor to the older DIS
> standards. Cybernet has been working in that field for years, so
> I'd doubt that that part of their product is new or totally
> unproven.  (That's not something that I'd expect to be true for
> some of the other products in the field.)

> A good starting point for information on HLA itself is at

>   http://www.dmso.mil/hla

>      The High Level Architecture (HLA) is a general purpose
>      architecture for simulation reuse and interoperability.  The
>      HLA was developed under the leadership of the Defense
>      Modeling and Simulation Office (DMSO) to support reuse and
>      interoperability across the large numbers of different types
>      of simulations developed and maintained by the DoD. The HLA
>      Baseline Definition was completed on August 21, 1996.

To sum up my own experience with systems using HLA, it's precisely
what the paragraph above says.  Reuse and interoperability.  Whilst
speed was a concern, it was more important to be able to interface
battlespace simulators in a federation (server cluster).  To give an
example, one simulator could be calculating force movements whilst
another calculates sensor results.  The federation setup allows data
to be processed by one simulator and passed on.  This allowed for a
jigsaw fit of various existing simulators through a defined
standard.

It might not make sense to split up the processing this way but
these simulators tend to have been around for years and years, are
stable and - more importantly - work.  Since the military tend to
prefer to use what is known to work, it makes sense to them to
create a standard and reuse good work.

Speculating, I don't think HLA was designed to be in a client-server
setup so the server cluster clicks.  On the other hand there is,
quite literally, a tonne of information on HLA.  It's proven
technology and it will work for what it was designed for.  However,
I'm not precisely an expert on HLA, no doubt someone else could
perhaps say a word or two on a client-server setup.

--
  |   Ling Lo
_O_O_ ling at slimy.com


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