Munin: A Peer-to-Peer Middleware for Ubiquitous Analytics and Visualization Spaces

We present Munin, a software framework for building ubiquitous analytics environments consisting of multiple input and output surfaces, such as tabletop displays, wall-mounted displays, and mobile devices. Munin utilizes a service-based model where each device provides one or more dynamically loaded services for input, display, or computation. Using a peer-to-peer model for communication, it leverages IP multicast to replicate the shared state among the peers. Input is handled through a shared event channel that lets input and output devices be fully decoupled.

It also provides a data-driven scene graph to delegate rendering to peers, thus creating a robust, fault-tolerant, decentralized system. In this paper, we describe Munin’s general design and architecture, provide several examples of how we are using the framework for ubiquitous analytics and visualization, and present a case study on building a Munin assembly for multidimensional visualization. We also present performance results and anecdotal user feedback for the framework that suggests that combining a service-oriented, data-driven model with middleware support for data sharing and event handling eases the design and execution of high performance distributed visualizations.