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Software Engineering of Virtual Environments: Integration and Interconnection
Welch, Donald J.
Purtilo, James M.
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Virtual Environments(VEs) are proving to be valuable resources in many fields, and they are even more useful when they involve multiple users in distributed environments. Many useful VEs were designed to be stand-alone applications, without consideration for integrating them into a distributed VE. Our approach to connecting VEs is to define an abstract model for the interconnection, use integration tools to do as much of the work automatically as possible, and use a run-time environment to support the interconnection. With our experiences to date, we are learning that certain classes of techniques are common to all solutions using this approach. We have summarized these in a set of requirements and are building a system that features these techniques as first class objects. In the future you will be able to solve these interconnection problems cheaply, plus engineers of future VEs will have some guidance on how they should organize their implementations so that interconnection with other VEs will be easier. In this paper we coin the phrase "software engineering of virtual environments" (SEVE) to describe the above activities. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-96-89)