lag: Wikis


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Encyclopedia

Lag is a common word meaning to fail to keep up or to fall behind.[1] In real-time applications, the term is used when the application fails to respond in a timely fashion to inputs.[2][3]

Lag is also often used in reference to video games to describe to the delay (or latency) between an action by a player and the reaction of the game.[4]

In distributed applications, lag is often caused by communication latency, which is the time taken for a sent packet of data to be received at the other end. It includes the time to encode the packet for transmission and transmit it, the time for that data to traverse the network equipment between the nodes, and the time to receive and decode the data. This is also known as "one-way latency". A minimum bound on latency is determined by the distance between communicating devices and the speed at which the signal propagates in the circuits (typically 70–95% of the speed of light in vacuum). Actual latency is often much higher because of packet processing in networking equipment, and other traffic.

The term lag is often also used as a synonym for communication latency.[5] This can be misleading because there can be other causes for the symptom.

Contents

Lag in local video gaming

All video games incur some lag, since once an input from the player is received, the game must compute the next frame of video and that video frame must be scanned out to a display device. But in general parlance, video game lag refers to delays that are noticeable to a player. The tolerance for lag depends heavily on the type of game. For instance, a strategy game or a turn-based game with a low pace may have a high threshold or even be mostly unaffected by high delays, whereas a twitch gameplay game such as a first-person shooter with a considerably higher pace may require significantly lower delay to be able to provide satisfying gameplay. But, the specific characteristic of the game matter. For example, fast chess is a turn-based game that is fast action and may not tolerate high lag. And, some twitch games can be designed such that only events that impact the outcome of the game introduce lag, allowing for fast local response most of the time.

The following is a chart of highly successful video games and the lag measured in local game play.

Video game Lag
Lag[6] Unit Sales
Burnout Paradise 67ms >1 million[7]
BioShock 67-133ms >1.5 million[8]
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 67-84ms >13 million[9]
Grand Theft Auto IV 133-200ms >6 million[10]
Halo 3 100-150ms >10 million[11]
Unreal Tournament 3 100-133ms >1.2 million[12]

Lag in online multiplayer gaming

All online video games such as World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, etc. incur online lag due to a combination of local processing lag and communications latency, and user tolerance for lag depends highly upon the type of game, similarly as it does for local gaming.[13] In general parlance, the latency between a client game and the host server is referred to as the client's ping time.[4]

Lag in cloud gaming

Cloud gaming is a type of online gaming where the entire game is hosted on a game server in a data center, and the user is only running a thin client locally that forwards game controller actions upstream to the game server. The game server then renders the next frame of the game video which is compressed using low-lag video compression and is sent downstream and decompressed by the thin client. For the cloud gaming experience to be acceptable, the round-trip lag of all elements of the cloud gaming system (the thin client, the Internet and/or LAN connection the game server, the game execution on the game server, the video and audio compression and decompression, and the display of the video on a display device) must be low enough that the user perception is that the game is running locally.[14][15] Because of such tight lag requirements, distance considerations of the speed of light through optical fiber come into play, currently limiting the distance between a user and a cloud gaming game server to approximately 1000 miles, according to OnLive, the only company thus far operating a cloud gaming service.[16]

Cloud gaming is a very new technology, but early tests have shown that in practice, cloud gaming lag is only slightly higher than local console lag. For example, Unreal Tournament 3 incurs up to 133ms of lag on a console[6] and was tested in July 2010 as incurring 150ms in lag on OnLive[17], resulting in the assessment in July of 2010 that "Out of controlled conditions, OnLive has managed to get within spitting distance of console response times..."[17]. In September 2010, reviewers reported a steady reductions in lag due to constant improvements in the technology, to the point where "...the actions on screen were one-to-one with my input controls. In fact, I forgot that it wasn't running natively on my PC."[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ "lag" at dictionary.reference.com
  2. ^ "lag" at wiktionary
  3. ^ Mitigating the Effects of Time Lags on Driving Performance (robotics)
  4. ^ a b "Noob Glossary: Ping, Lag and Servers". Bright Hub!. 2009-12-13. http://www.brighthub.com/video-games/pc/articles/45925.aspx/. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  5. ^ What is Lag? at gamedev.net
  6. ^ a b "Console Gaming: The Lag Factor". Eurogamer Digital Foundry. 2009-09-05. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-lag-factor-article?page=3/. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  7. ^ "Burnout Paradise passes the 1 million sales mark". PS3 Vault. 2006-04-06. http://www.ps3vault.com/burnout-paradise-passes-the-1-million-sales-mark-2767/. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  8. ^ "BioShock Smashes Through 1.5 Million Sales". Total Video Games. 2007-09-11. http://www.totalvideogames.com/Bioshock/news/BioShock-Smashes-Through-15-Million-Sales-11586.html/. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  9. ^ "Call of Duty 4 Sales Pass 13 Million Mark". Shack News. 2009-05-07. http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/58537/. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  10. ^ "Grand Theft Auto IV steals sales records". CNN. 2008-05-08. http://articles.cnn.com/2008-05-08/tech/gta.sales_1_ea-sales-grand-theft-auto-iv?_s=PM:TECH. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  11. ^ "Halo 3 sells 10 million copies worldwide". gamrFeed. 2009-08-13. http://gamrfeed.vgchartz.com/story/4787/halo-3-sells-10-million-copies-worldwide/. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  12. ^ "Unreal Tournament 3 has shipped over 1.2 million units". videogamer.com. 2008-02-19. http://www.videogamer.com/news/unreal_tournament_3_has_shipped_over_1_2_million_units.html/. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  13. ^ "Latency Can Kill: Precision and Deadline in Online Games". ACM. 2010-02-23. http://www.cs.ucsb.edu/~almeroth/classes/W10.290F/papers/claypool-10.pdf/. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  14. ^ "D8 Video:OnLive demoed on iPad, PC, Mac, Console, iPhone". Wall Street Journal. 2010-08-09. http://video.allthingsd.com/video/d8-video-onlive-demo/9D57A2C6-24ED-4351-8266-F3F7BA0C4D18/. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  15. ^ "The Process of Invention: OnLive Video Game Service". The FU Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science (Columbia University). http://tv.seas.columbia.edu/videos/545/60/79. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  16. ^ "Beta Testing at the Speed of Light". OnLive. 2010-01-21. http://blog.onlive.com/2010/01/21/beta-testing-at-the-speed-of-light/. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  17. ^ a b "Digital Foundry vs. OnLive". Eurogamer Digital Foundry. 2010-07-09. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-vs-onlive-article/. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  18. ^ "OnLive Does What Consoles Can’t: The promise of constant performance upgrades may pull it ahead of today’s consoles.". Gamezone. 2010-09-06. http://www.gamezone.com/editorials/item/onlive_succeeds_consoles_by_constant_performance_upgrades/. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 

External links


In computing and especially computer networks, lag is a term used where the computer freezes and then continues some time later when an action is performed, for example clicking a mouse button. If there is different latency, such as distance between computers connecting, the term used is delay although many get it mixed up with lag.

Latency is the time taken for a sent packet of data to be received at the other end. It includes the time to encode the packet for transmission and transmit it, the time for that data to traverse the network equipment between the nodes, and the time to receive and decode the data. This is also known as "one-way latency". A minimum bound on latency is determined by the distance between communicating devices and the speed at which the signal propagates in the circuits (typically 70–95% of the speed of light). Actual latency is often much higher, due to packet processing in networking equipment, and other traffic.

While strictly every packet experiences lag, the term lag is used to refer to delays noticeable to the user. There is often a correlation between latency and the physical distance that data must travel. Thus the time taken for a packet to travel from a computer server in Europe to a client in the same region is likely to be shorter than the time to travel from Europe to the Americas or Asia. But protocols and well written code that avoid unnecessary data transmissions are less affected by the latency inherent in a network. Modern corporate networks have devices to cache frequently requested data and accelerate protocols, thus reducing application response time, the cumulative effect of latency.

In many online video games, internet lag is undesirable because it disrupts normal game-play. Due to this, many players that have a high latency internet connection are often not permitted, or discouraged from playing with other players or servers that have a distant server host or have high latency to one another. Extreme cases of lag may result in extensive desynchronization of the game state. The game may attempt to correct this by pausing game-play and attempting to fully resynchronize all players. Games that do not or fail in the attempt may simply drop the offending players. A reverse is shown when the player is near to the server geographically, allowing for, in some cases, almost instant transfer of data, and therefore no lag. The correct context in which this word would be used would be in a sentence such as: “Dan lags on Street Fighter.”

In Chinese-language software and online games, the term openly used is 卡 kǎ. Here used colloquially, the original definition of "卡" is stuck or unable to move, which is pronounced qiǎ in this context.

See also

  • Bandwidth – Measure of a connection's maximum data transfer capacity.
  • Ping – Tool for determining network latency with regard to another system.
  • Lagometer – A "device" that measures lag.
  • Input lag

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also låg

Contents

English

Pronunciation

Adjective

lag (comparative lagger, superlative laggest)

Positive
lag

Comparative
lagger

Superlative
laggest

  • (Confirmation of this inflected form is sought) lagger
  1. late

Quotations

  • 1592: Some tardy cripple bore the countermand, / That came too lag to see him buried. — William Shakespeare, King Richard III

Noun

Singular
lag

Plural
lags

lag (plural lags)

  1. a gap; an interval created by something not keeping up
  2. (British, slang) a prisoner, a criminal.
  3. (Internet) bad connection, loss of connection, causing a delay

Quotations

  • 2004: During the Second World War, for instance, the Washington Senators had a starting rotation that included four knuckleball pitchers. But, still, I think that some of that was just a generational lag. — The New Yorker Online, 10 May 2004

Translations

Related terms

Verb

Infinitive
to lag

Third person singular
lags

Simple past
lagged

Past participle
lagged

Present participle
lagging

to lag (third-person singular simple present lags, present participle lagging, simple past and past participle lagged)

  1. to not keep up (the pace), to fall behind
  2. to cover (for example, pipes) with felt strips or similar material
  3. (Internet) The action in which a computer or server slows or halts in response to a poor connection

Quotations

to fail to keep up

  • 1587???: Lazy beast! / Why last art thou now? Thou hast never used / To lag thus hindmost — George Chapman, The Odysseys of Homer
  • 1596: Behind her farre away a Dwarfe did lag, / That lasie seemd in being ever last, / Or wearied with bearing of her bag / Of needments at his backe. — Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Canto I
  • 1798: Brown skeletons of leaves that lag / My forest-brook along — Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in seven parts, 1798

Construction: to lag behind

  • ???: While he, whose tardy feet had lagg'd behind, / Was doom'd the sad reward of death to find. — The Metamorphoses of Ovid translated into English verse under the direction of Sir Samuel Garth by John Dryden, Alexander Pope, Joseph Addison, William Congreve and other eminent hands
  • 2004: Over the next fifty years, by most indicators dear to economists, the country remained the richest in the world. But by another set of numbers—longevity and income inequality—it began to lag behind Northern Europe and Japan. — The New Yorker, 5 April 2004

to cover with felt strips

  • 1974???: Outside seems old enough: / Red brick, lagged pipes, and someone walking by it / Out to the car park, free. — Philip Larkin, The Building

Derived terms

See also

Anagrams


Afrikaans

Etymology

Dutch lachen

Verb

lag

  1. laugh

Danish

Etymology

From Old Norse lag.

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /laːg/, [læːˀj], [læjˀ]

Noun

lag n. (singular definite laget, plural indefinite lag)

  1. layer
  2. coat, coating
  3. class
  4. stratum

Inflection


Dutch

Verb form

lag

  1. singular past tense of liggen

Faroese

Pronunciation

  • IPA: [lɛaː]

Noun

lag n.

  1. layer
  2. (in compounds) what belongs together (company, union)
  3. regularity, order
  4. skill, capability
  5. method, system
  6. importance
  7. mood
  8. design, shape
  9. melody

Usage notes

what belongs together

order

  • í lagi - in order, all right, ok

skill

importance

mood

  • tað er einki lag á honum - he is in a bad mood

Declension

n6 Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative lag lagið løg løgini
Accusative lag lagið løg løgini
Dative lag(i) lag(i)num løgum løgunum
Genitive lags lagsins laga laganna

German

Verb

lag

  1. First-person singular indicative past form of liegen.
  2. Third-person singular indicative past form of liegen.

Icelandic

Etymology

From Old Norse lag.

Pronunciation

Noun

lag n.

  1. layer
  2. song

Declension


Irish

Etymology

From Old Irish lac < Proto-Celtic *laggo- < Proto-Indo-European *(s)leh₁g-, cf. slack and Latin laxus (slack).

Pronunciation

Adjective

lag (genitive singular masculine laig, genitive singular feminine laige, plural laga, comparative laige)

  1. weak

Maltese

Noun

lag m.

  1. lake

Synonyms


Norwegian

Noun

lag n.

  1. layer
  2. team (group of people)
  3. mood

Swedish

Etymology 1

From Old Swedish lagh, which is Old Norse lǫg (alternative spelling: lög). Cognate with Danish lov and Norwegian lov. English law is borrowed from Norse. Belongs to Old Norse leggja “to define”.

Pronunciation

Noun

Inflection for lag Singular Plural
common Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Base form lag lagen lagar lagarna
Possessive form lags lagens lagars lagarnas

lag c.

  1. law; a written or understood rule that concerns behaviours and the appropriate consequences thereof. Laws are usually associated with mores.
  2. law; the body of written rules governing a society.
  3. law; a one-sided contract.
  4. law; an observed physical law.
  5. (mathematics) law; a statement that is true under specified conditions.
See also
  • lagens långa arm
  • lagbok
  • lagföra

Etymology 2

From Old Swedish lagher (Old Norse lǫgr) < Proto-Germanic *laǥu- < Proto-Indo-European *laku-. Cognate with Latin lacus.

Pronunciation

Noun

Inflection for lag Singular Plural
common Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Base form lag lagen lagar lagarna
Possessive form lags lagens lagars lagarnas

lag c.

  1. (cooking) a water-based solution of sugar, salt and/or other spices; e.g. brine
Derived terms
  • saltlag
  • sockerlag
  • ättikslag

Etymology 3

From Old Swedish lagh (Old Norse lag). Derived from Old Norse leggja “to lay” or liggja “to lie”.

Pronunciation

Noun

Inflection for lag Singular Plural
neuter Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Base form lag laget lag lagen
Possessive form lags lagets lags lagens

lag n.

  1. team; group of people which in sports compete together versus another team; or in general, work closely together
See also
  • lagarbete
  • lagsport
  • lagspel

Simple English

Lag is when a computer game is slower then normal. This happens more during online gaming when the access point a player is using is far away or when other players are using slower connections such as dial-up. The slow down caused by a website getting more people on it can also be called lag.








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