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Assembling complex, distributed virtual environments (DVEs) and enabling effective human interaction with these environments raises several issues with regards to human-computer interaction, virtual reality, software engineering, networking, modeling, 3D computer graphics, and artificial intelligence.
A distributed virtual environment uses long-haul and local networked hosts to form a unified description of a virtual world wherein human-controlled and computer-controlled entities can interact. The interaction may be for education, planning, research, evaluation, training, or purchasing purposes. To adequately meet these objectives, the environment must be consistent and exhibit a high fidelity representation of the focus, or critical, components of the virtual environments.
The Air Force Institute of Technology has been addressing these issues within the contect of distributed virtual environments over the last several years through several ongoing projects.
The first portion of the talk will review the progress and objectives of the projects that have been conducted: The Virtual Cockpit, the Solar System Modeler, the Synthetic BattleBridge, the Virtual Emergency Room, Airbase Modeling, and the ATM Support Network projects.
The second portion of the talk will address some of the HCI, software architecture, design, AI, and implementation lessons we have learned over the past several years.
The talk will conclude with a short discussion of some of the issues we are currently addressing within the context of these projects.