Real-Time Supervisor Intervention Software for Scenario Modification in CAVE Applications
AuthorMuhanna, Muhanna A.
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One of the main goals of virtual reality is to provide immersive environments that take participants away from the real life into a virtual one. Many investigators have been interested in bringing new technologies, devices, and applications to facilitate this goal. Few, however, have focused on the specific human-computer interaction aspects of such environments or the software engineering methodology behind them. Furthermore, to the best of our knowledge, direct real-time intervention capabilities by instructors into application scenarios running in a virtual environment such as a CAVE, although very useful for supervised training and simulations, have not been a focal point for research and development. In this dissertation, based on our previous work on the CAVEMANDER software engineering approach and platform for building command and control applications for the CAVE, we propose a new interaction approach for supervising training and simulations in CAVE, supported by a new software environment that represents a significant extension and revision of CAVEMANDER. Specifically, we describe RTSIS, or the Real-Time Supervisor Intervention Software for Scenario Modification in CAVE. Our goal has been to provide an interactive software environment for creating application scenarios and, especially, for modifying scenarios while these are running in the CAVE. RTSIS illustrates a state-of-art interaction style for the CAVE and embodies a new collaboration approach between desktop computers and the CAVE. The dissertation provides background information on virtual reality, CAVE and CAVEMANDER, and presents an in-depth description of RTSIS's software model, including its requirements specification, use case modeling, software architecture, and medium-level design. To illustrate its capabilities and features, RTSIS is also shown in action via a sequence of detailed user interface snapshots that depict a step-by-step procedure of modifying a scenario that is running in the CAVE. Furthermore, two examples of application scenarios, a command-and-control scenario from the military domain and a training scenario for learning how to drive cars, are described in the dissertation. A review of and a comparison with related work are also included. The dissertation concludes with an outline of potential directions of future work and a review of our work's main findings and contributions.