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Visibility Path-Finding in Relation to Hybrid Strategy-Based Models in Distributed Interactive Applications

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4 Author(s)
Madden, D. ; University of Ireland ; Delaney, D. ; Mcloone, S. ; Ward, T.

The hybrid strategy-based modeling approach is a method for reducing the number of network packets that need to be transmitted to maintain global consistency in Distributed Interactive Applications. It combines a short-term model such as dead reckoning with a long-term strategy model. A key aspect of this approach is to determine strategies that users adopt in navigating the simulated environment to satisfy some objective or goal. Computer-generated artificial entities called BOTS, navigate by employing an Artificial Intelligence technique called path finding. This paper proposes using the A* path finding algorithm to automatically compute strategies that human users might take through the simulated environment. Since the A* algorithm operates on a graph representation of the environment and because of the real-time constraints imposed on Distributed Interactive Applications, the paper also carries out a comparative analysis of two extreme graph representations of the environment — a standard regular grid and a minimal grid representation. The comparison shows that the minimal grid leads to an order of magnitude reduction in real-time computation compared to the regular grid. In addition the paths computed using the minimal grid and the A* algorithm are used to determine strategy models as part of the hybrid strategy-based modeling approach. It is shown that this reduces the network traffic required to maintain global consistency of entity dynamics in two simulated environments.

Published in:

Distributed Simulation and Real-Time Applications, 2004. DS-RT 2004. Eighth IEEE International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

21-23 Oct. 2004

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