In online multi-player games the inherent challenges of mobile and edge computing are worsened by the requirements of real-time users’ interactions. Thus, developers of such applications face difficult design choices on data storage and distribution that ultimately affect the gaming experience: adopting a weak consistency model across replicas and mobile terminals will expose anomalies to the users, whereas a strong consistency model will increase latency, which may be unacceptable.
To address these issues, we propose to use Antidote and EdgeAnt. Antidote is a data store that provides an adequate consistency semantics with optimal performance by minimizing the need for synchronization between storage replicas. It offers a causally consistent transactional API and a toolkit of convergent data types that accommodates the typical needs of distributed applications. EdgeAnt extends Antidote with a consistent, mutable cache on the Edge device, with the same API and consistency guarantees. With support for client migration, P2P group communication and load placement at the edge or at the datacenter.
Research objectives and methods
The aim of this project is to design and develop a simple yet fully-functional gaming application to evaluate the pros and cons of the synchronization-free approach. Besides being an interesting pilot study for online multi-player gaming, this application will allow us to perform a thorough experimental evaluation of Antidote.
We break down the project into the following steps:
- Brief study of the state of the art.
- Developing a simple, but fully functional, gaming application (e.g. asynchronous command line chess) with the goal of familiarising with the design, deployment and APIs of Antidote.
- Adaptating an existing open source multi-player gaming application (e.g. 0.AD) that to use the synchronization-free approach; functional and scalability testing.
How to apply
The intern must:
- Be enrolled in Computer Science / Informatics or a related field.
- Have an excellent academic record.
- Be strongly interested in, and have good knowledge of, distributed systems and/or distributed games.
- Be motivated by experimental research.
The internship is funded, and will take place in the Delys group, at Laboratoire d’Informatique de Paris-6 (LIP6), in Paris. It will be advised by Ilyas Toumlilt, Dimitrios Vasilas and Dr. Marc Shapiro. A successful intern will be invited to apply for a PhD.
- A resume or Curriculum Vitæ.
- A list of courses and grades of the last two years of study (an informal transcript is OK).
- Names and contact details of two references (people who can recommend you), whom we will contact directly.
 AntidoteDB. http://syncfree.github.io/antidote/.
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 M. Shapiro, N. Preguiça, C. Baquero, and M. Zawirski. Conflict-free replicated data types. In Int. Symp. on Stabilization, Safety, and Security of Distributed Systems (SSS), 2011. http://www.springerlink.com/content/3rg39l2287330370/.
 D. D. Akkoorath, A. Z. Tomsic, M. Bravo, Z. Li, T. Crain, A. Bieniusa, N. Preguiça, and M. Shapiro. Cure: Strong semantics meets high availability and low latency. In Int. Conf. on Distributed Comp. Sys. (ICDCS), 2016. http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/ICDCS.2016.98.
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