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Crowds and Delegates in 3D Max - Agent Based Modelling and Emergent Behaviour

Crowd, transport and urban simulations are at their roots down to 'Agents' or 'Objects' that are assigned a set of rules as to how to moves in relation to both the environment and other agents around them. 3D Studio Max has a built in 'Crowd and Delegate' system which can be used to assign behaviour and therefore create realistic traffic of pedestrian systems in 3D space.

The movie below displays our first tentative steps to explore emergent behaviour via the introduction of simple rules. The movie starts out with a basic 'wander' behaviour where the agents only knowledge is the shape of the surface. Moving on we assign each of our 'cubes' (of which we have become quite fond of...) a level of vision so they can see ahead and therefore avoid each other and objects in their environment.

Crowd and Delegates - Emergent Behaviour from digitalurban on Vimeo.

Thirdly, the agents seek a 'sphere' which could be viewed as a source of food. While being aware of each other and tweaking the way the cubes move a swarm behaviour emerges. Finally, we introduce competing groups with two priorities, firstly to eat and secondly to stay as a group. The majority choose the group over the food but a couple stray off in search of sustenance and lose the other members.

All of these models are going into our exhibition space previewed below to allow a step by step guide to the principles of agent based modelling.

The virtual exhibition space should be online for Windows and Mac in the next few weeks.

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