Navigating Virtual Agents in Online Virtual Worlds

Russell GayleDinesh Manocha


Virtual Agents in Second Life
(a) Many areas in online virtual worlds, such as this college campus in Second Life\textregistered, are sparsely inhabited. (b) We present techniques to add virtual agents and perform collision-free autonomous navigation. In this scene, the virtual agents navigate walkways, lead groups, or act as a member of a group. A snapshot from a simulation with $18$ virtual agents (wearing blue-shaded shirts) that automatically navigate among human controlled agents (wearing orange shirts).

We present an approach for navigating autonomous virtual agents in online virtual worlds that are based on a centralized server network topology. Each agent's motion is controlled through local and global navigation. Our local navigation model is based on artificial social forces that has been extended to account for inaccurate sensing from network latency. Global navigation for each virtual agent is based on cell decomposition and computes high level paths. The overall computation is balanced by performing local navigation on client machines and global navigation on the server. We have implemented our navigation algorithm into the Second Life virtual world and highlight our results by simulating up to $18$ virtual agents over multiple different client computers.
Navigating Virtual Agents in Online Virtual Worlds
Russell Gayle and Dinesh Manocha
Web3D Symposium 2008, To appear
Paper: (2.1MB)

Navigating Virtual Agents in Online Virtual Worlds
Russell Gayle and Dinesh Manocha
UNC-CS Technical Report TR08-009
Report: (3.4MB)

Additional Media

Virtual agents on a college campus in Second Life

Virtual agents touring a fountain scene

Video - 6.2MB (Requires DivX)
Related Work
This work was supported in part by a Department of Energy High-Performance Computer Science Fellowship administered by the Krell Institute, ARO, NSF, AMSO, DARPA, RDECOM, and Intel Corporation.

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