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On the 802.11 Turbulence of Nintendo DS and Sony PSP Hand-held Network Games. Research Seminar Course Polyxeni Kleniati Department of Computing Imperial College London Monday, 27 February 2006. About the Author. Mark Claypool

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On the 802 11 turbulence of nintendo ds and sony psp hand held network games l.jpg

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

Research Seminar Course

Polyxeni Kleniati

Department of Computing

Imperial College London

Monday, 27 February 2006


About the author l.jpg
About the Author Hand-held Network Games

  • Mark Claypool

  • Associate Professor, CS Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

  • Director, WPI’ s Interactive Media and Game Developmentundergraduate degree

Research Seminar Course


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About the Author Hand-held Network Games

  • Research Methodology

    • Observe, Hypothesize, Design, Experiment, Analyze, Report

    • "The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman

  • Research Interests

    • Distributed Systems, Multimedia, Performance Analysis, Collaborative Filtering, Perceptual Quality, Wireless Network and Network Games

  • Publications

    • Journals (9), Conferences (51), Books (2), Demos, Posters, Technical Reports and so on

    • January 2006, his paper “The Effects of Frame Rate and Resolution on Users Playing First Person Shooter Games”, presented in Proceedings of ACM/SPIE Multimedia Computing and Networking (MMCN), won the best paper award

Research Seminar Course


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About the Presenter Hand-held Network Games

  • Polyxeni – Margarita Kleniati

  • 1st year PhD student

  • Supervisor: Professor Berç Rustem

  • Group: High Performance Computing (HPC)

  • Research Area: Computational Management Science (CMS)

    • The research of our group is focused on decision making under uncertainty, with applications to finance, scheduling, worst-case analysis and chemical engineering

  • My Topic: Semidefinite Programming and Global Optimization of Polynomials Using Higher Order Moments

Research Seminar Course


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About the Paper Hand-held Network Games

  • Presented in Proceedings of the 4th ACM SIGCOM workshop on Network and System Support For Games

    • Session: Game Traffic Characterization

    • Year of Publication: 2005

    • Publisher: ACM Press, New York, USA

  • Best Paper award!

Research Seminar Course


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Outline Hand-held Network Games

  • Introduction

    • Motivation & Objective of the paper

    • B.I. on IEEE 802.11, Nintendo DS & Sony PSP

  • Methodology

    • Games Selected

    • Wireless Framework, Gameplay & Sniffing

    • Experimental Setup

  • Results

    • Game Phases

Research Seminar Course


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Outline Hand-held Network Games

  • Results

    • Turbulence

      • Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP (bitrates)

      • Frame Sizes (CDFs)

      • Inter Frame Times (CDFs)

    • Wireless Connection Quality

    • Impact on TCP throughput

  • Conclusions

  • Discussion

Research Seminar Course


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Motivation Hand-held Network Games

  • Recently, the computer game industry has seen a substantial growth

  • Computer game sales in US comparable with Hollywood box office

  • Increase in residential broadband Internet connections with high capacities

  • Hand-held gaming consoles were primarily single-player until 2004

  • Spring 2005, Sony PSP and Nintendo DS released and support multi-player gameplay, using IEEE 802.11 (WLAN)

Research Seminar Course


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Motivation Hand-held Network Games

  • This is significant for many reasons:

    • More & more home users access the internet via a WLAN

    • Growth in WLAN increases the likelihood that concurrent hosts compete on the same channels

    • The traffic generated by one host on a WLAN can degrade the performance of other hosts on the WLAN

  • Essential to know the network load caused by hand-held game traffic

  • Little research has been done on hand-helds using 802.11 protocol

Research Seminar Course


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Objective Hand-held Network Games

  • This paper examines the network characteristicsfor a variety of network games on the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP

  • The author uses the terminology turbulence to denote the network characteristics:

    • size and frequency of data sent

    • overall bitrate

Research Seminar Course


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Objective – Questions Hand-held Network Games

  • What is the network turbulence for hand-held network games?

  • Does the network turbulence differ between PSP and DS?

  • Does the network turbulence differ among different games on the same hand-held?

  • Does the network turbulence for hand-held games differ from PC games?

  • Does hand-held game traffic affect the Internet traffic on the same wireless channel?

Research Seminar Course


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IEEE 802.11 Hand-held Network Games

  • IEEE 802.11* denotes a set of Wireless LAN/WLAN standards developed by working group 11 of the IEEE LAN/MAN Standards Committee (IEEE 802)

    • The term IEEE 802.11 is also used to refer to the original 802.11, which is also called 802.11 legacy

  • The 802.11 family currently includes six modulation techniques that all use the same protocol

  • The most popular techniques are those defined by the b, a and g amendments to the original standard

    *The information is taken from Wikipedia, the free on-line encyclopedia.

Research Seminar Course


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IEEE 802.11 – Protocols Hand-held Network Games

  • 802.11 legacy: The original version of the standard IEEE 802.11 released in 1997 specifies two raw data rates of 1 Mbits/s and 2 Mbits/s to be transmitted in the Industrial Scientific Medical frequency band at 2.4 GHz

  • The original standard also defines Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) as the media access method

  • Legacy 802.11 was rapidly supplemented by 802.11b. Widespread adoption of 802.11 networks only occurred after 802.11b was approved and as a result few networks run on the 802.11 standard

Research Seminar Course


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IEEE 802.11 – Protocols Hand-held Network Games

  • 802.11b: The 802.11b amendment to the original standard was approved in 1999. 802.11b has a maximum raw data rate of 11 Mbits/s and uses the same CSMA/CA media access method defined in the original standard. Due to the CSMA/CA protocol overhead, in practice the maximum 802.11b throughput that an application can achieve is about 5.9 Mbit/s over TCP and 7.1 Mbit/s over UDP

  • 802.11b is usually used in a point-to-multipoint configuration, wherein an access point communicates via an omni-directional antenna with one or more clients that are located in a coverage area around the access point

  • 802.11b cards can operate at 11 Mbit/s but will scale back to 5.5, then 2, then 1 Mbit/s (Adaptive Rate Selection), if signal quality becomes an issue. Since the lower data rates use less complex methods of enconding the data, they are less susceptible to corruption due to interference and signal degradation

Research Seminar Course


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Nintendo DS Hand-held Network Games

  • System

    • Resolution 256×192 pixels, 260k colours

    • 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

      • Ad hoc mode

    • No IP stack (UDP/TCP)

Research Seminar Course


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Sony PSP Hand-held Network Games

  • System

    • Resolution 480×272 pixels, 24-bit colour

    • 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

Research Seminar Course


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Games Selected Hand-held Network Games

Research Seminar Course


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Wireless Framework Hand-held Network Games

  • First floor of wooden house

  • Used 2 Sony PSP and 2 Nintendo DS close to each other (10 feet), except when deliberately taken further apart

  • Sniffing via Ethereal (v0.10.3) on laptop

  • 3 APs were visible by the sniffer, but no additional traffic apart from the beacons

  • Games on WLAN channels 1, 6, 11

Research Seminar Course


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Gameplay & Sniffing Hand-held Network Games

  • Sniffer able to capture the entire frame (MAC headers, extra physical/MAC layer information)

  • Each game was played first in single player mode

  • Then, two-player version of each game

  • 3 runs, gather all data

  • For two games, 3 wireless locations (Bad, Good, Excellent)

  • For one game, bulk download on PC

Research Seminar Course


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Experimental Setup Hand-held Network Games

Dell Inspiron 8600

Netgear WG511 802.11 b/g

with Intersil‘ s PRISM GT chipset

Research Seminar Course


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Game Phases Hand-held Network Games

  • Setup

    • Minimal network traffic

  • Synchronization

    • High bitrates

  • Play

    • Moderate bitrates

  • Transition

    • Low bitrates

Research Seminar Course


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Game Phases Hand-held Network Games

Research Seminar Course


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Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP Hand-held Network Games

Research Seminar Course


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Nintendo DS vs. Sony PSP Hand-held Network Games

Research Seminar Course


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Frame Sizes – Cumulative Distribution Functions Hand-held Network Games

Sony PSP

Nintendo DS

Research Seminar Course


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Inter Frame Times – Cumulative Distribution Functions Hand-held Network Games

Sony PSP

Nintendo DS

Research Seminar Course


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Wireless Connection Quality Hand-held Network Games

Research Seminar Course


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Impact on TCP throughput Hand-held Network Games

Research Seminar Course


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Conclusions Hand-held Network Games

  • What is the network turbulence for hand-held network games?

    • Frequent sends of small frames of data

    • Typical hand-held frame sizes are less than 100 bytes

    • Typical inter frame times are less than 20 msecs (excluding ACKs)

  • Does the network turbulence differ between PSP and DS?

    • DS games send smaller frames that the PSP games

    • Some PSP games send mostly broadcast traffic, while all DS games studied use direct addressing

Research Seminar Course


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Conclusions Hand-held Network Games

  • Does the network turbulence differ among different games on the same hand-held?

    • Games on the Nintendo DS have network turbulence similar to each other

    • Games on the Sony PSP vary considerably in bitrate, frame size, frame frequency, and fraction of broadcast traffic

  • Does the network turbulence for hand-held games differ from PC games?

    • Data frames sent by hand-helds are comparable in size to those of PC or console games

    • Hand-helds send data more frequently, resulting in bitrates that are higher overall than typical PC or console games

Research Seminar Course


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Conclusions Hand-held Network Games

  • Does hand-held game traffic affect the Internet traffic on the same wireless channel?

    • Some game phases may have adverse affects on throughput for Internet applications sharing the same 802.11 wireless channel

Research Seminar Course


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Additional Conclusions Hand-held Network Games

  • Some Sony PSP games primarily use 802.11 broadcast as a means of communicating between the hand-helds

  • Implications on other wireless devices that share the same channel

  • Under poor connection quality, the Nintendo DS game studied sends data at higher bitrates

  • Sony PSP game studied increases bitrates slightly and has difficulty staying connected

Research Seminar Course


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Discussion Hand-held Network Games

  • Is research on games legitimate? (In my opinion, it is!)

  • The ultimate goal is to improve games, or to improve protocols, so improving games?

  • What is the real meaning/importance of the influence of games on internet traffic?

  • Is there any room for doubt about protocol 802.11b being really supported in both games?

Research Seminar Course


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The End. Hand-held Network GamesAny Questions?

Thank you.


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