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A three-dimensional human agent metaphor for modeling and simulation

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2 Author(s)
Hopkins, J.F. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Florida Univ., Gainesville, FL, USA ; Fishwick, P.A.

The use of metaphor can be a potential aid to the novice modeler in several ways. Metaphor can imbue abstract ideas with concrete properties, thereby making the abstract ideas more accessible. The analogies suggested by metaphor might also aid reasoning about modeling and implementation problems. Another potential benefit of metaphor in modeling is the improvement of mental retention of model architecture and functionality. Traditionally, models and programs have been produced in a two dimensional (2D) or textual medium. However these media may be inferior to a three-dimensional (3D) medium in the development and use of metaphor, as the concrete properties that metaphors often provide are real-world phenomena, which are naturally 3D. We developed an example of the use of metaphors in modeling and 3D simulation. The example consists of a simplified operating system task scheduler along with associated hardware devices, developed in a VRML environment using VRML PROTO nodes. These nodes are designed as modular objects based on real-world metaphors. We were able to construct a set of metaphors and prototypes that may, if extended ease the modeling and design of agent oriented systems for novices. A proposed extension of one metaphor presented in the research is the synthetic human agent

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:89 ,  Issue: 2 )