Virtual Crowds: Steps Toward Behavioral Realism

Virtual Crowds: Steps Toward Behavioral Realism

Mubbasir Kapadia, Nuria Pelechano, Jan Allbeck, Norm Badler
ISBN: 9781627058285 | PDF ISBN: 9781627058292
Copyright © 2015 | 270 Pages | Publication Date: November 10, 2015

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This volume presents novel computational models for representing digital humans and their interactions with other virtual characters and meaningful environments. In this context, we describe efficient algorithms to animate, control, and author human-like agents having their own set of unique capabilities, personalities, and desires. We begin with the lowest level of footstep determination to steer agents in collision-free paths. Steering choices are controlled by navigation in complex environments, including multi-domain planning with dynamically changing situations. Virtual agents are given perceptual capabilities analogous to those of real people, including sound perception, multi-sense attention, and understanding of environment semantics which affect their behavior choices. The roles and impacts of individual attributes, such as memory and personality are explored. The animation challenges of integrating a number of simultaneous behavior and movement demands on an agent are addressed through an open source software system. Finally, the creation of stories and narratives with groups of agents subject to planning and environmental constraints culminates the presentation.

Table of Contents

Footstep-based Navigation and Animation for Crowds
Following Footstep Trajectories in Real Time
Context-sensitive Data-driven Crowd Simulation
Navigation Meshes
Multi-domain Planning in Dynamic Environments
Sound Propagation and Perception for Autonomous Agents
Multi-sense Attention for Autonomous Agents
Semantics in Virtual Environments
Parameterized Memory Models
Individual Differences
An Open Source Platform for Authoring Functional Crowds
Event-centric Planning for Narrative Synthesis
Authors' Biographies

About the Author(s)

Mubbasir Kapadia, Rutgers University
Mubbasir Kapadia is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Rutgers University. Previously, he was an Associate Research Scientist at Disney Research Zurich. He was a postdoctoral researcher and Assistant Director at the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation at University of Pennsylvania, under the directorship of Prof. Norman I. Badler. He was the project lead on the United States Army Research Laboratory (ARL) funded project Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance (RCTA). He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science at University of California, Los Angeles, under the advisement of Professor Petros Faloutsos.

Nuria Pelechano, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC)
Nuria Pelechano is an Associate Professor at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya. She obtained her Engineering degree from the Universitat de Valencia, her Masters degree from the University College London, and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania as a Fulbright Scholar in 2006. Nuria has over 30 publications in journals and international conferences on Computer Graphics and Animation. She has participated in projects funded by the EU, the Spanish Government, and U.S. institutions. Her research interests include simulation, animation and rendering of crowds, generation of navigation meshes, real-time 3D graphics, and human-avatar interaction in virtual environments.

Jan Allbeck, George Mason University
Jan M. Allbeck is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at George Mason University, where she is also the faculty advisor for their undergraduate concentration in Computer Game Design and director of the Games and Intelligent Animation laboratory. She received her Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. She has more than 50 publications in international journals and conference proceedings and has served as a reviewer for 40 journals, conferences, and workshops. She has had the great opportunity to explore many aspects of computer graphics, but is most drawn to research at the crossroads of animation, artificial intelligence, and psychology in the simulation of virtual humans.

Norm Badler, University of Pennsylvania
Norman I. Badler is Rachleff Professor of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. in Creative Studies Mathematics from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1970, his MSc in Mathematics from the University of Toronto in 1971, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto in 1975. He served as the Senior Co-Editor for the journal Graphical Models for 20 years and presently serves on the editorial boards of several other journals, including Presence. His research involves developing software to acquire, simulate, animate, and control 3D computer graphics human body, face, gesture, locomotion, and manual task motions, both individually and for heterogeneous groups. He has supervised or co-supervised 62 Ph.D. students, many of whom have become academics or researchers in the movie visual effects and game industries. He is the founding Director of the SIG Center for Computer Graphics, the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation, and the ViDi Center for Digital Visualization at Penn. He has served Penn as Chair of the Computer & Information Science Department (1990–94) and as the Associate Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (2001–05).

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