Component-based methodology and development framework for virtual and augmented reality systems

The very recent revolutionary advancements and wide availability of the real-time 3D graphics technology results in the overwhelming and still quickly growing number of toolkits, game engines, and VR/AR frameworks, which offer very broad collections of functional features. It becomes apparent that soon the winning factor will not be related to the number of features provided, but rather to the availability of a flexible component-based process and architecture able to curb exploding complexity, supporting seamless integration, and assuring broad design and code reuse. Since the late 90's Component Based Development (CBD) is a very active area of research and development. However, most of the current efforts and component standards are strongly biased towards enterprise information management systems focusing on distributed, secure, and transactional business logic. Concerning Game/VR/AR (GVAR) system engineering domain component-orientation, although highly demanded, currently is poorly understood and still in the pioneering phase. The work presented in this thesis consists of the three main parts. The first part focuses on the systematic analysis, mapping and adaptation of the current understanding of the CBD methodology to the needs of the GVAR system engineering. The resulting GVAR specific CBD methodological template is then validated by confrontation with the set of existing GVAR system engineering solutions. Mapping to the uniform CBD semantics yields detailed taxonomy and demonstrates the evolutionary convergence of initially isolated architectural (design related), functional (system operation and mechanism related), and development (process related) patterns towards the common CBD methodological denominator. As a result, the second part proposes GVAR specific component model and the respective component framework implementation (VHD++). In context of the VHD++ component model, we study consequences of separation between content (storing) and software (computing) side components and the role of the multi-aspect- graph concept. In context of the VHD++ component framework, we specify the architecture and identify an ensemble of fundamental coordination mechanisms necessary to support and enforce the VHD++ component model. In the third part we focus on the validation of the proposed CBD methodology from the perspective of the main three actors of the CBD process (component framework developer, component developer, application composer). In particular, we study examples of concrete components, inter-component collaborations, and instances of VR/AR storytelling systems featuring various combinations of advanced virtual character simulation technologies, immersion, and interaction paradigms.

    Thèse École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL, n° 3046 (2004)
    Section d'informatique
    Faculté informatique et communications
    Institut des systèmes informatiques et multimédias
    Laboratoire de réalité virtuelle
    Jury: Roger Hersch, Claude Petitpierre, Anthony Steed, Frank Van Reeth

    Public defense: 2004-8-19


    Record created on 2005-03-16, modified on 2016-08-08


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