Locales and Beacons: Efficient and Precise Support For Large Multi-User Virtual Environments

    •  Barrus, J.W.; Waters, R.C.; Anderson, D.B., "Locales and Beacons: Efficient and Precise Support for Large Multi-user Virtual Environments", IEEE Virtual Reality Annual International Symposium, March 1996, pp. 204-213.
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      • @inproceedings{Barrus1996mar,
      • author = {Barrus, J.W. and Waters, R.C. and Anderson, D.B.},
      • title = {Locales and Beacons: Efficient and Precise Support for Large Multi-user Virtual Environments},
      • booktitle = {IEEE Virtual Reality Annual International Symposium},
      • year = 1996,
      • pages = {204--213},
      • month = mar,
      • url = {}
      • }
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There is a natural desire to make multi-user virtual environments large in spatial extent, in numbers of objects, and in numbers of users interacting with the environment. However, doing this brings up several problems: efficiently managing the flow of large amounts of data between large numbers of users, representing precise position and velocity information about objects that are arrayed across a large volume of space, and allowing designers to create parts of a virtual environment separately and combine them together later. Locales are an efficient method for solving these problems by breaking up a virtual world into chunks that can be described and communicated independently. While having many benefits, locales introduce a problem: finding something when you do not know what locale it is in. This is solved by the companion concept of beacons, which makes it possible to find something no matter where it is.