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Patterns of Network and User Activity in an Inhabited Television Event

Greenhalgh, Chris; Benford, Steve; Craven, Mike


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Dunford Chair in Computer Science


Inhabited television takes traditional broadcast television and combines it with multiuser virtual reality to give new possibilities for interaction and participation in and around shows or channels. Out of This World was an experimental inhabited TV show, staged in Manchester in September of 1998, using the MASSIVE-2 system. During this event, we captured comprehensive records of network traffic and additional logs of user activity (in particular, movement and speaking). In this paper, we present the results of our analyses of network and user activity in these shows. We contrast our results with those obtained from previous analyses of teleconferencing-style scenarios. We find that the inhabited television scenario results in much higher levels of user activity and significant bursts of coordinated activity. We show how these characteristics must be taken into account when designing a system and infrastructure for applications of this kind. In particular, it is clear that any notion of strict turn-taking (and associated assumptions about resource sharing) is completely unfounded in this domain. We also show that the concept of “levels of participation” is a powerful tool for understanding and managing the bandwidth requirements of an inhabited television event.


Greenhalgh, C., Benford, S., & Craven, M. (2001). Patterns of Network and User Activity in an Inhabited Television Event. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 10(1), 35-50. doi:10.1162/105474601750182306

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2001-02
Deposit Date Nov 27, 2018
Journal Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments
Print ISSN 1054-7460
Electronic ISSN 1531-3263
Publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 1
Pages 35-50
Public URL
Publisher URL