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Second Life: Agent Based Models Update

As part of joint work with we have just finished another part of Agent-Street where agents and avatars can interact with each other. The idea here is to merge iconic and symbolic urban models in a multi-user real time environment:

Agent-Based Modelling in Second Life from Andrew Crooks on Vimeo.

The movie below details Agent-Street and how one can download the models we have created by clicking on the model vending machines. Such vending machines are common features in Second Life and allow users to store objects and scripts in their personal inventory for later use such as rebuilding the models on their own Land or in free sand-boxes. We have been using the Mauve Land for this (SLURL).

In our previous models avatars could only visualise and initiate the models. For example, in the pedestrian evacuation model users could only observe how agents exited the building (in a similar way to professionally developed 3D pedestrian modelling software packages such as STEPS - more on STEPS in a future post.). In this new model, we extend the basic pedestrian evacuation model, so that agents not only consider their environments but also other avatars. In this sense we are not only incorporating iconic and symbolic modelling styles but also adding a further human dimension, moving towards an augmented reality (i.e. as if the agents and the humans were in the same crowd). The movie below details how pedestrian paths change when avoiding an avatar, note how an avatar stationed near the exit impacts on pedestrian egress as agents have to move around it.

We have also set up a website outlining the work in detail (click here) or alternatively if you have a Second Life account this SLurl will take you to the Land, once you teleport to the area, follow the red arrow (beam of red light) into the sky to find Agent-Street. If the models are running slow let us know as we having problems with fish entering our land from a neighbouring island.

Thanks as ever go to NATURE for allowing us use of Second Nature Island to set up the experiments.

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