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On the 802.11 Turbulence * of Nintendo DS and Sony PSP Hand-held Network Games . Mark Claypool. Computer Science Department Worcester Polytechnic Institute. http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/hand-held/.

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on the 802 11 turbulence of nintendo ds and sony psp hand held network games

On the 802.11 Turbulence* of Nintendo DS and Sony PSP Hand-held Network Games

Mark Claypool

Computer Science Department

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/hand-held/

* The term “footprint" is often used in systems work in the context of the basic size a piece of memory of some software. In a network, the size and distribution of packets over time is important, hence the word “turbulence”

motivation 1 of 2
Motivation (1 of 2)
  • Computer game sales in U.S. on par with Hollywood box office [ESA – 2005, National Organization of Theatre Owners – 2005]
  • For frequent game players, 43% play online [ESA - 2004]
  • Through 2004, hand-helds primarily single-player
  • Spring 2005, Sony PSP and Nintendo DS released and support multiple players
    • Using IEEE 802.11 (WLAN)
  • Significant, since WLAN increasingly deployed
    • Dartmouth, Logan Airport, Philadelphia, my house…

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

motivation 2 of 2
Motivation (2 of 2)
  • Poor WLAN connections degrade all [Heusse et al. 2003, Bai and Williamson 2004, Gretarsson 2005]
    • Equal access means poor connection becomes bottleneck
  • There have been numerous studies of popular PC games [Borella 2000, Feng et al. 2002, Faerber 2002, Lang et al. 2004] and consoles [Lang et al 2005]
  • To the best of our knowledge, none on new hand-helds

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

questions
Questions
  • Turbulence for hand-held network games?
    • Characterizing frame sizes and inter frame times 1st step for building models
  • Turbulence differs across hand-helds (PSP vs. DS)?
    • If not, then can concentrate on one hand-held
  • Turbulence differs across games (Metroid vs. Mario)?
    • If not, then can concentrate on one game
  • Turbulence differs from PC games?
    • If not, then can re-use mature models for PC games
  • Hand-helds interfere with other wireless traffic?
    • If yes, then plan accordingly

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

outline
Outline
  • Introduction (done)
  • Background (next)
  • Experiments
  • Results
  • Conclusions

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

nintendo ds
Nintendo DS
  • System
    • Resolution 256x192, 260k colors
    • Dual ARM processors
      • ARM 9 at 67 MHz , ARM 7 at 33 MHz
    • 4 MBytes RAM
    • Touch-pad
  • Network
    • WLAN is IEEE 802.11b
      • Short preamble
      • Wireless capacities of 1 Mbps or 2 Mbps, only
      • Ad hoc mode
    • No IP stack (UDP/TCP)

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

sony psp
Sony PSP
  • System
    • Resolution 480x272 pixels, 24-bit color
    • Dual MIPS R4000 processors at 333 MHz
    • 32 MBytes RAM
    • Analog joystick
  • Network
    • WLAN is IEEE 802.11b
      • 1, 2, 5.5, 11 Mbps
      • Ad hoc mode and infrastructure mode
    • IP stack

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

outline8
Outline
  • Introduction (done)
  • Background (done)
  • Experiments (next)
  • Results
  • Conclusions

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

slide9

Games Selected

Nintendo DS

Metroid Prime Hunters

Ridge Racer

Super Mario

Picto Chat

Sony PSP

World Tour Soccer

Need for Speed

Untold Legends

Hotshots Golf

experimental setup
First floor of wooden house

Sniffing via Ethereal (v0.10.3) on laptop

Three APs visible, but no traffic except beacons

Games on WLAN channels 1, 6, 11

For each game

Single player to gain familiarity, then two-player

Three runs, gather all data

For two games

Three wireless locations: Bad, Good, Excellent

For one game

Bulk download on PC

Experimental Setup

Dell Inspiron 8600

Netgear WG511 802.11b/g

with Intersil\'s PRISM GT chipset

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

outline11
Outline
  • Introduction (done)
  • Background (done)
  • Experiments (done)
  • Results (next)
  • Conclusions

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

game phases
Game Phases

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

nintendo ds vs sony psp
Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

frame sizes
Frame Sizes

Nintendo DS

Sony PSP

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

inter frame times
Inter Frame Times

Sony PSP

Nintendo DS

Why are there so few frames at 0 for some PSP games?

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

percentage of broadcast frames
Percentage of Broadcast Frames

Doom all over again?

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

wireless connection quality
Wireless Connection Quality

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

impact on contending tcp throughput
Impact on Contending TCP Throughput

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Hand-held games frequent sends of small data
    • Payloads less than 100 bytes
    • Inter frame times (non-ACKS) less than 20 msec
    • Like PC and console games, but more frequent
  • Nintendo DS games similar to each other, while Sony PSP games vary considerably
  • Nintendo DS games different than Sony PSP games
    • DS games have smaller frames
    • Some PSP send mostly broadcast
  • Some game phases may adversely affect throughput for contending applications

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

future work
Future Work
  • Multiple-players
    • Tested 2, games support 2-8, systems 2-16
  • Turbulence during other game phases
    • Synchronization phase?
    • Size and duration of phases?
  • Interaction with other traffic
    • Same channel, overlapping channel
  • Infrastructure mode
    • Wide-Area network (loss, latency …)

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

acknowledgements
Acknowledgements

ACM NetGames, Hawthorne, NY

on the 802 11 turbulence of nintendo ds and sony psp hand held network games22

On the 802.11 Turbulence of Nintendo DS and Sony PSP Hand-held Network Games

Mark Claypool

Computer Science Department

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/papers/hand-held/

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