Simulating tens of thousands of characters realistically in complex environments in real-time is a huge challenge.
The increasing urbanization of the world population presents new challenges for decision makers. Real-time crowd simulation is crucial in addressing these challenges, including determining evacuation times in complex buildings, avoiding overcrowded areas during mass events, and improving the crowd flow in cities. We are developing a simulation framework with unique features that aim at realism, speed and accuracy. Our software is available for research and commercial use.
A huge challenge is to simulate tens of thousands of characters in real-time where they pro-actively and realistically avoid collisions with each other and with obstacles present in their environment, especially near narrow passages where cooperative behaviour is required. This environment contains semantic information (e.g. roads and bicycle lanes, dangerous and pleasant areas), is three-dimensional (e.g. contains bridges where people can walk over and under as well) and can dynamically change (e.g. a bridge partially collapses).
We currently study how to create a generic framework centred around a navigation mesh for such environments and how it can be updated dynamically and efficiently. Next, we study how (groups of) people move and avoid collisions in such environments, based on character profiles and semantics. We run our simulations in realistic environments (e.g. soccer stadiums or train stations) and game levels to study the effectiveness of our methods.
|W.G. van Toll, N. Jaklin, R. Geraerts: Towards Believable Crowds: A Generic Multi-Level Framework for Agent Navigation. In ICT.OPEN (2015)
|A. van Goethem, N.S. Jaklin, A.F. Cook IV, R. Geraerts: On Streams and Incentives: A Synthesis of Individual and Collective Crowd Motion. In Computer Animation and Social Agents (2015)
|W.G. van Toll, A.F. Cook IV, R. Geraerts: Navigation Meshes for Realistic Multi-Layered Environments. In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 3526-3532 (2011)
|Utrecht Holding and UtrechtVC