Metaverses and Distributed Virtual Environments


A virtual environment is a computer simulation system that provides users with sensory information in such a way that they can readily visualize, explore, and interact with the entities in a virtual landscape. A distributed virtual environment (DVE)  is intended for multiple users to interact within a virtual world in real-time even though they are at geographically different locations. Manufacturing, social media, such as massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) and Metaverses (such as Second Life or   Facebook Meta) are characteristic instances of DVEs.

The emergence of high bandwidth and low latency network and IoT infrastructures have fostered the development of large scale DVE applications which aim to support hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of participants. As DVEs become larger, more data-intensive and latency-sensitive, scalability becomes a crucial element for their successful deployment. Partitioning, load balancing, synchronisation and interest management are issues at the core of the scalability challenge.

In the context of complex and autonomous systems simulation, with my team we have investigated the challenges for distributed simulations based on logical time.  Another stream of our work has delivered novel techniques and algorithms for real-time DVEs such as those utilised in MMOGs and Metaverses. 


  • ACM Best of Computing, 2014




For publications on logical-time systems see: here, here and here. The list below focuses on real-time DVEs.

  • Elvis Liu, Georgios Theodoropoulos, "Interest Management for Distributed Virtual Environments: A Survey", ACM Computing Surveys, Volume 46 Issue 4, April 2014. DOI bookmark: 10.1145/2535417
  • Elvis Liu, Georgios Theodoropoulos, “Space-Time Matching Algorithms for Interest Management in Distributed Virtual Environments”, ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation (TOMACS), Volume 24 Issue 3, May 2014. DOI bookmark:  10.1145/2567922.
  • E. Liu, G. Theodoropoulos, "An Analysis for Parallel Interest Matching Algorithms in Distributed Virtual Environments", Winter Simulation Conference, Washington, DC ▪ December 8-11 2013
  • Elvis Liu and Georgios Theodoropoulos, "Parallel Interest Matching Algorithm for Distributed-Memory Systems", 15th IEEE International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real Time Applications (DS-RT'11), Salford, Manchester, UK. Best Paper Award. DOI bookmark: 10.1109/DS-RT.2011.34
  • Elvis Liu, Georgios Theodoropoulos, "A Parallel Matching Algorithm For Continuous Interest Management",  2010 Winter Simulation Conference, 5-8 December 2010, Marriott Waterfront Hotel Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Elvis Liu, Georgios Theodoropoulos, "A Continuous Matching Algorithm for Interest Management in Distributed Virtual Environments", the 24th Workshop on Principles of Advanced and Distributed Simulation (ACM/IEEE/SCS PADS) 2010, May 17-19, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.  DOI Bookmark: 10.1109/PADS.2010.5471665           
  • Elvis Liu, Georgios Theodoropoulos, “An Approach for Parallel Interest Matching in Distributed Virtual Environments”, 13th IEEE International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real Time Applications (DS-RT 2009) October 2009, Singapore.  Selected as the 2nd Best Paper. DOI Bookmark: 10.1109/DS-RT.2009.34
  • Minson, R., Theodoropoulos, G.,  “Load Skew in Cell-Based Interest Management Systems”, 12th IEEE International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real Time Applications (DS-RT 2008) October 2008, Vancouver, Canada, Pages: 43-50, ISBN ~ ISSN:1550-6525, 978-0-7695-3425-1, DOI Bookmark: 10.1109/DS-RT.2008.41.
  • Minson, R., Theodoropoulos, G.,  “Push-Pull Interest Management for Virtual Worlds”, 11th  IEEE International Symposium on Object/component/service-oriented Real-time distributed Computing, 5-7 May 2008, Orlando, Florida, USA. Pages: 189-194,  ISBN:978-0-7695-3132-8, DOI Bookmark: 10.1109/ISORC.2008.82.
  • Minson, R., Theodoropoulos, G.,  “An Evaluation of Push-Pull Algorithms in Support of Cell-Based Interest Management”, 11th IEEE International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real Time Applications (DS-RT 2007) October 2007, Chania, Greece, Pages: 39-47, ISBN ~ ISSN:1550-6525, 0-7695-3011-7, DOI Bookmark: 10.1109/DS-RT.2007.13
  • R. Minson and G Theodoropoulos, “A Design for Adaptive Support of Range Queries via Push-Pull Algorithms”, 21st International Workshop on Principles of Advanced and Distributed Simulation (PADS 2007), in conjunction with Federated Computing Research Conference FCRC 2007, June 12-15, 2007, San Diego, California, USA. Pages: 53-60, ISBN:0-7695-2898-8. DOI Bookmark: 10.1109/PADS.2007.11
  • Minson, R., Theodoropoulos, G., “Adaptive Interest Management via Push-Pull Algorithms”, 10th IEEE International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real Time Applications (DS-RT 2006) October 2-6, 2006, Torremolinos, Malaga, Spain. Pages: 119 - 126, ISBN ~ ISSN: 1550-6525, 0-7695-2697-7. DOI Bookmark: 10.1109/DS-RT.2006.8
  • Minson, R., Theodoropoulos, G.,  “An Adaptive Interest Management Scheme for Distributed Virtual Envronments”, 19th ACM/IEEE/SCS Workshop on Principles of Advanced and Distributed Simulation (PADS 2005), June 1-3, 2005, Monterey, CA., USA  Pages: 273-281, ISBN~ISSN:1087-4097,0-7695-2383-8. DOI Bookmark: 10.1109/PA DS.2005.3