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Networked Virtual Environments (NVEs) are computer-generated virtual worlds where users interact by exchanging messages via network connections. Each NVE user often pays attention to only a limited visibility sphere called Area Of Interest (AOI) where interactions occur. The dissemination of messages to other users within the AOI (i.e., the AOI neighbors) thus is a fundamental NVE operation referred to as AOI-cast. Existing studies on NVE scalability have focused on system scalability, or the ability for the system to handle a growing number of total users, by using multicast or Peer-to-Peer (P2P) architectures. However, another overlooked, yet important form of scalability relates to the handling of a growing number of users within the AOI (or AOI scalability).
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