Game Environments Internet Utilisation Study (GENIUS)

Introduction

GENIUS began in 2002 with the aim of characterizing the impact of popular online, interactive, real-time games on ISP networks. The program has since expanded to encompass questions about latency tolerance of players, network layer mechanisms for cheat-mitigation, the hidden network-layer impact of server discovery protocols, synthetic construction of realistic game traffic simulations, passive real-time detection of live game traffic in ISP access networks, and the use of 3D game engines for interactive visualisation of network activity.

Background

Interactive, real-time online games represent a rapidly growing market and a challenge for ISPs. The market for computer games is reported to have exceeded Hollywood's annual revenues in the early part of the 2000s, and PC-based computer games in the same period have accelerated the industry's development of high-end graphics cards and sound systems in consumer-level computers. There are new revenue (or customer retention) opportunities for ISPs who can offer premium services targetted at online game players.

However, there remains the challenge of efficiently engineering ISP networks to support online, interactive computer games. In an ideal world with excess funding an ISP could simply over-provision their entire network. But the real world demands that new online game players must be supported on existing links - shared with everyone else's web surfing, file sharing, and email traffic. Network engineering is a balancing act. A proactive ISP tries to maintain packet latency, loss, and throughput expectations of its customers by adapting their internal resources to the offered load.

As part of this project we develop and release tools to assist in data gathering and analysis, and publish interim results and papers on our website. The links above will take you to additional information.

GENIUS has also spawned the SONG, ANGELL3DGE and BITSS projects here at CAIA. Related work has also animated the variations in Internet-wide server discovery traffic over time.

CAIA Lab Maps

If you are curious how our lab looks like, here are playable Quake III Arena maps of our current and previous lab.

Program Leader
Grenville Armitage

Program Members

Sebastian Zander
Warren Harrop
Lawrence Stewart
Phillip Branch
Tony Cricenti

(Alumni: Chris Holman, Carl Javier, Brandon Tyo, David Kennedy, Mark Pozzobon, Ian Leeder, Tanja Lang, Ana Pavlicic)

Last Updated: Thursday 21-Nov-2013 12:02:58 EST | Maintained by: Grenville Armitage (garmitage@swin.edu.au) | Authorised by: Grenville Armitage (garmitage@swin.edu.au)