CfP: First International Workshop on Cloud Gaming Systems and Networks (C-Game 2014)

July 14/18, 2014, Chengdu, China  (https://sites.google.com/site/icmecgames2014/ )

In conjunction with IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME 2014)

Online gaming systems, which mix various multimedia such as image, video, audio, and graphics to enable players to interact with each other over the Internet, are now widely used not just for entertainment, but also for socializing, business, commerce, scientific experimentation, and many other practical purposes. Gaming is now a multi-billion dollar industry all over the world, having already surpassed the much longer-established film and music industries, and generating more revenue than each of cinema and DVD/BlueRay industries. Cloud gaming, the newest entry in the online gaming world, leverages the well-known concept of cloud computing to provide online gaming services to players. The idea in cloud gaming is to process the game events in the cloud and to stream the game to the players. Cloud gaming can be single player, where a user plays the game on his/her own, or multiplayer, where multiple geographically distributed users play with or against each other. Since it uses the cloud, scalability, server bottlenecks, and server failures are alleviated to a great extent, helping it become more popular in both research and industry, with companies such as OnLive, StreamMyGame, Gaikai, G-Cluster, OTOY, Spoon, CiiNOW, with Sony and Microsoft to join in 2014.

Important Dates:
Paper submission:                 March 23, 2014
Notification of acceptance:       April 9, 2014
Camera-ready submission:          April 16, 2014 (no extension)

The aim of this workshop is to provide a forum that brings together multimedia researchers and practitioners from various facets of multimedia topics and allows them to have active discussions and interactions on the clearly focused, hot, and emerging topic of Cloud Gaming. We encourage discussions based on the presented papers to advance the state-of-the-art and to identify current and future research topics.

Topics of Interest
There are currently three types of cloud gaming architectures: graphics streaming, video streaming, and their combination. In graphics steaming, the game objects are represented by 3D models and textures, and these are streamed to players as needed. Rendering of the game is done at the client, but the game logic runs in the cloud and the state of the game (position and orientation of objects, as well as actions and events) is streamed to clients as an update message. The advantage of graphics streaming is that update messages are small and do not require much bandwidth. But the rendering at the client requires computational power as well as 3D graphics rendering hardware or software. In video streaming, the cloud not only executes the game logic, but also the game rendering. The resulting game scene is then streamed to clients as video. The advantage here is that as long as the client can display video, which pretty much all smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and most other mobile devices today do, the user can play the game without needing 3D graphics rendering hardware or software, making cloud gaming accessible to a huge market of mass consumers. The disadvantage is two-folds: First, video based cloud gaming requires high bandwidth. For example, OnLive requires a wired network connection with no less than 5Mbps constant bandwidth per player to provide interactive gaming services with a resolution of 720p at 30fps. Second, video based cloud gaming is sensitive to network latencies which impair the interactive experience of a video game. It is also possible to use a hybrid approach and to simultaneously mix graphics streaming with video streaming, as is done in CiiNO, for example. In addition, the mobility of today’s player poses another set of challenges. Due to the heterogeneity of players’ devices, the server has to adapt the game content to the characteristics and limitations of the client’s underlying network or end device. These include limitations in the available network bandwidth, or limitations in the client device’s processing power, memory, display size, battery life, or the user’s download limits as per his/her mobile subscription plan. While some of these restrictions are becoming less problematic due to rapid progress in mobile hardware technologies, battery life in particular and download limit to some extent are still problems that must be seriously considered. Also, consuming more bandwidth or computational power, even if available, means consuming more battery.

In this workshop, we seek original papers that propose new approaches, methods, systems, and solutions that overcome the above shortcomings. Specifically, we seek papers in the following and similar topics:

• adaptive video/graphics streaming according to player’s device limitations
• methods to speed up video coding and video/graphics streaming at the cloud side
• methods to decrease the required bandwidth while maintaining gameplay quality
• energy-efficient video/graphics streaming based on player’s device battery and download limitations
• energy-efficient cloud computing for game rendering and video coding at the server side
• cloud-player latency improvement and delay mitigation techniques
• player-cloud and player-player interactions: effects of delay and visual quality limitations on gameplay, and methods to improve them
• optimizing cloud infrastructure and server distribution to efficiently support globally distributed players
• cloud support for Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG)
• cloud gaming traffic measurement, modeling, benchmarking, and performance evaluation
• cloud support for serious games

Paper submissions should be at most 6 pages long and must cover one of the above or similar topics. We especially encourage experience papers describing lessons learned from built systems, including working approaches, unexpected results, common abstractions, and metrics for evaluating and improving cloud gaming systems.

Workshop Chairs:
Shervin Shirmohammadi (shervin@discover.uottawa.ca), University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
Maha Abdallah (Maha.Abdallah@lip6.fr), Pierre & Marie Curie University (UPMC), Paris, France
Dewan Tanvir Ahmed (dahmed@uncc.edu), University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, USA

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