CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

A JAVA based API for the Implementation and Maintenance of Domain Specific Collaborative Virtual Environments

Date of Award

2006

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Michael J. Laszlo

Committee Member

Junping Sun

Committee Member

Francisco J.Mitropoulos

Abstract

Collaborative virtual environments (CVEs) are environments that actively support human-human communication in addition to human-machine communication and which use the virtual environment as the user interface. The number of domains to which CVEs are being applied is constantly increasing, yet there are currently no standards governing the implementation of CVEs. Not surprisingly, most CVEs are proprietary to some degree, and are difficult to adapt to domains for which they were not originally designed. This dissertation proposes a set of abstractions common to many CVEs and presents an API named CORE (Creation of Reusable Environments) based on these abstractions for the implementation and maintenance of CVEs. Additionally, three case studies were undertaken to validate the API: a chat room, virtual classroom, and traditional multi-user dungeon (MUD). These case studies demonstrate typical uses of the API for creating CVEs. It is the finding of this research that a common set of abstractions can be identified across many CVEs and if harnessed within an API, the implementation of CVEs becomes more convenient and structured.

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