VIPER : A Distributed Virtual Reality System

Developing distributed virtual environments is a complex time consuming task. In order to develop such environments the programmer has to be proficient in network, graphics, device handlers and user interface programming. Moreover, network based programs are inherently more difficult to program and debug than sequential ones.

In order to simplify this task, we have developed VIPER (VIrtuality Programming EnviRonment) which enables the rapid and easy development of distributed VR applications.VIPER is aimed for the design of every application based on a distributed virtual environment which can be modelled by exchanges (symbolised by stimuli) between autonomous entities, in a virtual universe.

Interactions between entities, modelled by the stimulus paradigm (a phenomenon or an event perceptible by an entity), cross media, called stimuli spaces, which allow communications between many entities simultaneously. An entity receives perceptible stimuli (visible shapes, near sounds...) through sensors and acts on its environment through effectors (producing new stimuli).

Moreover, each entity owns a behaviour built with connected behaviour components. Each component can be triggered by a sensor or another component through internal communications. There are two classes of components :

- System components implement the relations between an entity and its computer environment (persistency, distribution...).
- Application components modify the entity internal state (the set of its attributes) and command actions to its effectors. An example of such a component is a multimodal interaction manager which collects stimuli, builds a single message which can trigger other components.

Currently I'm working on an ESPRIT project called CAVALCADE. The goal of this project is to build a Collaborative Virtual Prototyping application (VIPER is the distributed core of CAVALCADE).

PhD Thesis (in French)

  • VIPER : Un modèle de calcul réparti pour la gestion d’environnements virtuels (1 MByte)

  • P. Torguet
    IRIT, Paul Sabatier University, February 1998 (thesis number 2954).

    Some Publications

    Some Images

    Those images are snapshots from a concurrent modelling application built on VIPER.
    See this paper for more information.
    Those pictures are a bit old... I will put new and better pictures soon.

    Patrice Torguet