Interactive Group-to-Group Collaboration
The Access Grid infrastructure creates a collaborative environment designed to provide seamless, interactive group-to-group collaborations among groups that are not co-located. This enables a rich set of interactions to occur by utilizing streaming media, providing a semi-immersive environment in which the technology fades into the background. Designed to be always on, instantaneous interactions occur across widely distributed sites. In order to effectively interact across the Access Grid, users are best served by Access Grid Nodes conforming to a minimum set of standards to provide the seamless semi-immersive environment.
The Access Grid provides a group-to-group collaboration environment with unique features including resources provided via a spatial metaphor and the virtual collaboration spaces are persistent. The architecture is open, extensible, scalable, and leverages established standards. The Access Grid is made up into three major parts, Virtual Venues Services, Access Grid Nodes, and Access Grid Network Services. The Venues Services provide navigation, discovery and security for resources. Access Grid Nodes are spaces that are designed to provide comfortable, high fidelity, natural interactions with Access Grid resources. Access Grid Network Services provide capabilities such as venue recording, stream processing, and bridging between the Access Grid and other collaboration systems. Applications can use this infrastructure to provide groups to share data, computing resources, and applications among widely distributed participants.
The intent of the Access Grid is to enable groups of collaborators to increase productivity by reducing the work involved in finding expert resources, people, publications, source code, data and computing resources. The Access Grid is also used for classroom lectures, training, invited talks, and collaborative activities such as strategy and management meetings.