Abstract

This paper focuses on the distributed architecture of the collaborative threedimensional user interface management system, Studierstube. The system allows multiple users to experience a shared 3D workspace populated by multiple applications using see-through head-mounted displays or other presentation media such as projection systems. Building large, ubiquitous, or mobile workspaces requires distribution of applications over several hosts in varying and dynamic configurations. The system design is based on a distributed shared scene graph that alleviates the application programmer from explicitly considering distribution and that avoids a separation of graphical and application data. The idea of unifying all system data in the scene graph is taken to its logical consequence by implementing application instances as nodes in the scene graph. Through the distributed shared scene graph mechanism, consistency of scene graph replicas and the contained application nodes is assured. Dynamic configuration management is based on application migration between participating hosts and a spatial model of locales allowing dynamic workgroup management. We describe a number of experimental workspaces that demonstrate the use of these configuration management techniques.

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