A COLLABORATIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ARCHITECTURE SUPPORTING QUALITY OF SERVICE

A. Quintero, S. Pierre, and D. Tassy

Keywords

Collaborative learning, quality of service, virtual laboratories, elearning.

Abstract

Virtual laboratories and distance learning have produced a comfortable, sophisticated, interactive, and adaptable teaching model. Moreover, consistent technical progress in this field allows the development of increasingly interesting applications. The authors select those elements to create a virtual learning environment. Indeed, the adaptation of the concept of the laboratory and all of its components, in the computer science field, seems a tempting alternative. However, this possibility carries constraints on the way education is organized in such environments. In order to recreate traditional education, one must introduce the concept of collaboration. This article presents an architecture capable of managing collaboration. However, such an architecture is usually associated with qualityof-service problems. By adapting differentiating flows according to the users’ needs, the authors conjecture that such adaptation to the environment has beneficial influence on the performance of the entire system. Simulation results are significant. This model was tested with different network loads. Results indicate that improvements caused by traffic differentiation, even without special network loads, become even more significant as the number of users increases. The model is still untested in practice.

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