Tiled display systems have emerged as a means to visualize complex scientific data sets, while reducing the need to subsample potentially critical information. This paper presents a global-timestamp-based approach for the development and the control of real-time distributed tiled display systems. Two different techniques are presented that enable the development of multi-tile configurations in combination with distributed render clusters. A single-display-multiple-renderer approach is presented that fuses visuals generated by multiple render nodes into one composite image, which can be assigned to one specific display tile. This approach is subsequently extend to a multiple-display-multiple-rendered approach that facilitates the creation of scalable display systems consisting of multiple display tiles and render clusters. This paper investigates challenges that have to be addressed by these systems and describes a proof-of-concept system based on a high-level object-oriented real-time programming scheme called TMO.
Distributed virtual environments are rapidly gaining in popularity for the implementation of intuitive and collaborative workspaces. In distributed virtual environments, geographically dispersed user sites possess considerable capabilities for computing and cooperation with other user sites. Primary challenges that have to be addressed by these systems are compensating network latency jitters, keeping system-wide data consistent, enabling fair resource sharing and interaction between the users. This paper reviews a global time-stamp based approach, which is developed by authors to enhance the fairness and consistency across the distributed virtual environments. The approach is described in combination with three different implementation philosophies, a centralized approach similar to client-server model, a decentralized approach similar to peer-to-peer model, and a combined approach consisting of hierarchical layers of centralized and decentralized approaches. Based on a new object-oriented real-time programming methodology called the time-triggered message-triggered object (TMO) programming scheme, two different implementations were tested and compared.