Dirk Kutscher

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IEEE MetaCom Workshop on Decentralized, Data-Oriented Networking for the Metaverse (DORM)

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IEEE MetaCom Workshop on Decentralized, Data-Oriented Networking for the Metaverse (DORM)

Workshop page at IEEE MetaCom

Organizers

  • Jeff Burke, UCLA
  • Dirk Kutscher, HKUST(GZ)
  • Dave Oran, Network Systems Research & Design
  • Lixia Zhang, UCLA

Workshop Description

The DORM workshop is a forum to explore new directions and early research results on Metaverse system architecture, protocols, and security, along a data-oriented design direction that can encourage and facilitate decentralized realizations. Here we broadly interpret the phrase “Metaverse” as a new phase of networking with multi-dimensional shared views in open realms.

Most prototype implementations of such systems today replicate the social media platform model: they run on cloud servers offered by a small number of providers, and have identities and trust management anchored at these servers. Consequently, all communications are mediated through such servers, together with extensive CDN overlay infrastructures or the equivalent.

Although the cloud services may be extended to edges to address performance and delay issues, the centralization of control power that stems from this cloud-centric approach can be problematic from a societal perspective. It also reflects a significant semantic mismatch between the existing address-based network support and many aspirations for open realm applications and interoperability: the applications, by and large, operate on named data principles at the application layer, but need to deploy multiple layers of middleware services, which are provider-specific, to bridge the gap. These added complexities prohibit new ways of interacting (leveraging new data formats such as USD and gITF) and are not conducive to flexible distributed computing in the edge-to-cloud continuum.

This workshop solicits efforts that explore new directions in metaverse realization and work that takes a principled approach to key topics in the areas of 1) Networking as the Platform, 2) Objects and Experiences, and 3) Trust and Transactions without being constrained by inherited platforms.

Networking as the Platform

Metaverse systems will rely on a variety of communication patterns such as client-server RPC, massively scalable multi-destination communication, publish-subscribe etc. In systems that are designed with a cloud-based, centralized architecture in mind, such interactions are typically mediated by central servers and supported by overlay CDN infrastructure, with operational inflexibility and lacking optimization mechanisms, for example in order to leverage specific network link layer capabilities such as broadcast/multicast features. Underlying reliance on existing stacks also introduces familiar complications in providing disruption-tolerant, mobile-friendly extended reality applications, limiting their viability for eventual use in critical infrastructure and require significant engineering support to use in demanding entertainment applications, such as large-scale live events.

This workshop seeks research on new strategies for Metaverse system design that can promote innovation by lowering barriers to entry for new applications that perform robustly under a variety of conditions. We solicit research on Metaverse system design that addresses architectural and protocol-level issues without the reliance on a centralized cloud-based architecture. Instead, we expect the DORM workshop submissions to start with a distributed system assumption, focusing on individual protocol and security elements that enable decentralized Metaverse realizations.

Many Metaverse-relevant interactions such as video streaming and distribution of event data today inherently rely on abstractions for accessing named data objects such as video chunks, for example in DASH-based video streaming. The DORM workshop will therefore particularly invite contributions that explore new systems and protocol designs that leverage that principle, thus exploring new opportunities to re-imagine the relationship between application/network and link/physical layer protocols in order to better support Metaverse system implementations. This could include work on new hypermedia concepts based on the named data principle and cross-layer designs for simplifying and optimizing the implementation and operation of such protocols.

We expect such systems to as well be better suited to elegant, efficient integration of computing into the network, thus providing more flexible and adaptive platforms for offloading computation and supporting more elaborate data dissemination strategies.

From Objects to Experiences

In our perceived Metaverse/open realm systems, there are different existing and emerging media representations and encodings such as current video encodings as well as scene and 3D object description and transmission formats such as USD and glTF. Similar to previous developments in the networked audio/video area, it is interesting to investigate opportunities for new scene and 3D object representation formats that are suitable not only for efficient creation and file-like unidirectional transmission but also for streaming, granular composition and access, de-structuring, efficient multi-destination transmission, possibly using network coding techniques.

The workshop is therefore soliciting contributions that explore a holistic approach to media/object representation within network/distributed computing, enabling better performance, composability and robustness of future distributed Metaverse systems. Submissions that explore cross-layer approaches to supporting emerging media types such as volumetric video and neural network codecs are encouraged, as are considerations of how code implementing object behaviors and interactions can be supported - providing a path to the interoperable experiences expressed in various Metaverse visions.

Trust and Transactions

Finally, distributed open realm systems need innovative solutions in identity management and security support that enable interoperation among multiple systems including a diverse population of users. We note that mechanisms to support trust are inherently coupled with various identities, from "real world" identities to application-specific identities that users may adopt in different contexts. Proposed solutions need to consider not just media asset exchange but also the interactions among objects, and the data flows needed to support it.

The workshop solicits contributions that identify specific technical challenges, for example system bootstrapping, trust establishment, authenticated information discovery, and that propose new approaches to the identified challenges. Researchers are encouraged to consider cross-layer designs that address disconnects between layers of trust in many current systems - e.g., the reliance on third-party certificate authorities for authentications, the inherent trust in connections rather than the objects themselves, that tends to generate brittleness for even local communications if connectivity to the global network is compromised.

Call for Papers

The Decentralized Data-Oriented Networking for the Metaverse (DORM) workshop is intended as a forum to explore new directions and early research results on the system architecture, protocols, and security to support Metaverse applications, focusing on data-oriented, decentralized system designs. We view Metaverse as a new phase of networking with multi-dimensional shared views in open realms.

Most Metaverse systems today replicate the social media platform model, i.e., they assume a cloud platform provider-based system architecture where identities and the trust among them is anchored via a centralized administrative structure and where communication is mediated through servers and an extensive CDN overlay infrastructure operated by that administration. The centralization that stems from this approach can be problematic both from a control and from a performance & efficiency perspective. Despite operating on named data principles conceptually, such systems typically exhibit traditional layering approaches that prohibit new ways of interacting (leveraging new data formats such as USD and gITF) and that are not conducive for flexible distributed computing in the edge-to-cloud continuum.

This workshop solicits work that takes a principled approach at key research topics in the areas of 1) Networking as the Platform, 2) Objects and Experiences, and 3) Trust and Transactions without being constrained by inherited platform designs, including but no limited to:

  • Distributed Metaverse architectures
  • Computing in the network as an integral component for better communication and interaction support
  • Application-layer protocols for a rich set of interaction styles in open realms
  • Supporting Metaverse via data-oriented techniques
  • Security, Privacy and Identity Management in Metaverse systems
  • New concepts for improved network support for Metaverse systems, e.g., through facilitating ubiquitous multipath forwarding and multi-destination delivery
  • Cross-layer designs
  • Emerging scene description and media formats
  • Quality of Experience for Metaverse applications
  • Distributed consensus and state synchronization
  • Security, Privacy and Identity Management in Metaverse systems

Given the breadth and emerging nature of the field, all papers should include the articulation of a specific vision of Metaverse that provides clarifying assumptions for the technical content.

Submissions and Formatting

The workshop invites submission of manuscripts with early and original research results that have not been previously published or posted on public websites or that are not currently under review by another conference or journal. Submitted manuscripts must be prepared according to IEEE Computer Society Proceedings Format (double column, 10pt font, letter paper) and submitted in the PDF format. The manuscript submitted for review should be no longer than 6 pages without references. Reviewing will be double-blind. Submissions must not reveal the authors’ names and their affiliations and avoid obvious self-references. Accepted and presented papers will be published in the IEEE MetaCom 2023 Conference Proceedings and included in IEEE Xplore.

Manuscript templates can be found here. All submissions to IEEE MetaCom 2023 must be uploaded to EasyChair at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=metacom2023.

Organization Committee

  • Jeff Burke, UCLA
  • Dirk Kutscher, HKUST(GZ)
  • Dave Oran, Network Systems Research & Design
  • Lixia Zhang, UCLA

Technical Program Committee

  • Alex Afanasyev, Florida International University
  • Hitoshi Asaeda, NICT
  • Ali Begen, Ozyegin University
  • Taejoong Chung, Virginia Tech
  • Serge Fdida, Sorbonne University Paris
  • Carlos Guimarães, ZettaScale Technology SARL
  • Peter Gusav, UCLA
  • Toru Hasagawa, Osaka University
  • Jungha Hong, ETRI
  • Kenji Kanai, Waseda University
  • Ruidong Li, Kanazawa University
  • Spyridon Mastorakis, University of Nebraska Omaha
  • Kazuhisa Matsuzono, NICT
  • Marie-Jose Montpetit, Concordia University Montreal
  • Jörg Ott, Technical University Munich
  • Yiannis Psarras, Protocol Labs
  • Eve Schooler, Intel
  • Tian Song, Beijing Institute of Technology
  • Kazuaki Ueda, KDDI Research
  • Cedric Westphal, Futurewei
  • Edmund Yeh, Northeastern University
  • Jiadong Yu, HKUST(GZ)
  • Yu Zhang, Harbin Institute of Technology

Important Dates

  • March 20, 2023, Paper submission deadline
  • April 20, 2023 Notification of paper acceptance
  • May 10, 2023, Camera-ready paper submissions

Submission Link

https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=metacom2023

Written by dkutscher

January 16th, 2023 at 6:50 pm

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