I'm planning to write a group chat platform to use in crowded situations, like events, parties or shows, for example.
the simple approach would be to put everybody in the same room. but having a thousand people talking in a same room doesn't work. the multiple possible parallel conversations overlap and none can actually be understood or followed.
I'm not talking here about performance issues. I'm looking for design options. I couldn't find any discussion like this out there. if anyone have a link or a suggestion, that would be fine :)
so far, I could think about the following alternatives and corresponding downsides:
- I could offer multiple rooms with limited capacity. let's say 50 people per room. each user could explicitly pick a room to join, knowing its current capacity beforehand, or could be randomly put in any non-empty and non-full room.
the problem with having multiple rooms is that someone can be in one room at each time, and so, if I want to talk to the host of the party, I must get into the room he is, or no deal. so... just picking a non-full room to join may just not be good enough.
the same happens to being randomly put in a room. that may be good to keep rooms balanced, but might cause the friend I just invited to join other random room and we get separated.
- other possibility would be have a single room, a thousand people inside, but just some messages would be broadcast to everybody in the room. the problem is to choose who is allowed to talk and why would anyone join a chat group to be just an expectator :P
for example, for starters, the 50 initial users to join would be allowed to talk. as long as they live, the next ones in the queue would gaining opportunity to join the conversation.
or maybe only the most active (by some ranking) would be allowed to talk.
- other hybrid alternative would be to allow users to create their own rooms and (auto-)close these rooms when they get empty, and only invited people can join their rooms.
this alternative does not solve the problem of trying to talk to the host, but gives the users the responsibility to keep their rooms conversations healthy.
- a last hardcore approach would be to use machine learning to put everybody in the same room and broadcast the messages to limited people (selected by the ML algorithm), possibly grouped by interest or part in the conversation.
the problem here is that recently joined users have not enough data to be put in any cohort. actually, most chat messages are just too short and too similar to have a good ML classification applied.
I'm looking for any reference, suggestion, paper, idea or anything that could help this analysis.
those are objective answers. please do not close this question as not constructive. and... in case of unavoidable closing, please tell me the correct place to ask this question (and this would also be an answer to my question, since it would help my analysis by getting me to the right forum).
thanks in advance :D