VRNetzer: A Virtual Reality Network Analysis Platform

Overview

We provide (i) a standalone executable (ii) source code, and (iii) a desktop version:

(i) The standalone executable can be downloaded [here]. It provides the full VRNetzer platform as a single, self-contained application. This includes the fully immersive VR module, as well as the interfaces to the analytics module and a public MySQL database that contains all the data described in this paper. The web module can be accessed [here]

Minimal hard- and software requirements for the VRNetzer platform include a PC with dedicated graphics card, MS Windows operating system, Steam VR software and compatible VR hardware, and an internet connection to access the provided database.

(ii) The source code for the data, analytics, UI and web modules is available on [github]. The provided source code allows users to set up their own VRNetzer environment from scratch, including custom databases. The users can also adapt and extend the platform to their own needs.

(iii) We also provide a desktop version of our platform for testing purposes that can be downloaded [here]. Note that the desktop version misses the key ingredient of our platform, namely the immersive VR experience. Yet, we hope that it may provide a first impression of our VR platform and its capabilities.

User Guide

The standalone executable can be downloaded from https://menchelab.com/VRNetzer/VRNetzer.zip You will need a SteamVR compatible headset to run the full VR experience. The web module is accessible via http://vrnetzer.westeurope.cloudapp.azure.com:8887/ppi/search.

We also built a desktop version of our platform that does not require any VR hardware and can be run on any PC with MS Windows 10 operating system. It can be downloaded from https://menchelab.com/VRNetzer/DesktopVRNetzer.zip.  After extracting the zip file on the computer, the application can be run from the DesktopVRNetzer\DesktopVRNetzer.exe file. If you run a firewall or similar setups, please make sure the app can access the internet, since it needs to connect to our database server for the demo to work.

The following screenshots and explanations are for the Desktop version, the full VR version has similar controls. We would greatly appreciate if you report any issues you may run into on our github page under https://github.com/menchelab/VRNetzer/issues.

 

Once the app is started you should be greeted by a screen similar to this one:

Please select a layout on the upper left panel as shown in the screenshot:

You should now see some nodes in the middle of the screen, represented by grey cubes, click on the links button to draw the links.

Now you should see a screen similar to this one:

Now switch to the next tab on the upper left panel, choose a selection and press the “GO!” button.

On the third tab you can now set the sliders to meaningful values to end up with a screen similar to this one:

Congratulations, you have now loaded a network, a link list and a selection, time to start exploring the dataset. Check out the other tabs on the interface to find features like the random walk or save your own selection lists for further exploration.

 

You can navigate in the desktop version using the W A S D keys for movement, and the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom. Select with the left mouse button and press the middle mouse button to rotate the network.

These are the basic controls for the VR version: