The bulk of the bandwidth available on today's commodity Internet is consumed by audio and video file transfers. With millions of people worldwide logging-on daily to swap and download MP3's and movies to their personal computers, millions of such file transfers compete for finite bandwidth along with documents, e-mail and text messages. At peak hours of usage, the result is often network congestion and delays. The Transitive project was conceived and developed as a means to visualize point-to-point file transfers like those most commonly exchanged on the Internet, but on a high-bandwidth link. It looks forward to when commodity Internet bandwidth is no longer the bottleneck, and multimedia files; however bandwidth intensive, will flow effortlessly between the millions of endpoints that are computers.
Transitive visualizes multiple file transfers running concurrently over a 10/100Mbps local area network (LAN). Each transfer identifiable by color, size and sound is rendered in 3D and displayed on a projector-based passive-stereo system. A LAN's larger bandwidth is capable of supporting multimedia files and other bandwidth-intensive applications. On a LAN with minimal latency, one can instantly see the correlation between the data, graphics and sound.
In a few years, the bandwidth now available to the research community will be available to commodity Internet users, and advanced multimedia applications can, and will be developed to take advantage of it. Networking research in EVL is already developing applications in which the individual "processors" are widely distributed computer clusters, and the network will become the system bus... more>>