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Section: New Software and Platforms

Populate

Scientific Description

Populate is a toolkit dedicated to task scheduling under time and space constraints in the field of behavioral animation. It is currently used to populate virtual cities with pedestrian performing different kind of activities implying travels between different locations. However the generic aspect of the algorithm and underlying representations enable its use in a wide range of applications that need to link activity, time and space. The main scheduling algorithm relies on the following inputs: an informed environment description, an activity an agent needs to perform and individual characteristics of this agent. The algorithm produces a valid task schedule compatible with time and spatial constraints imposed by the activity description and the environment. In this task schedule, time intervals relating to travel and task fulfilment are identified and locations where tasks should be performed are automatically selected.

Functional Description

The software provides the following functionalities:

  • A high level XML dialect that is dedicated to the description of agents activities in terms of tasks and sub activities that can be combined with different kind of operators : sequential, without order, interlaced. This dialect also enables the description of time and location constraints associated to tasks.

  • An XML dialect that enables the description of agent's personal characteristics.

  • An informed graph describes the topology of the environment as well as the locations where tasks can be performed. A bridge between TopoPlan and Populate has also been designed. It provides an automatic analysis of an informed 3D environment that is used to generate an informed graph compatible with Populate.

  • The generation of a valid task schedule based on the previously mentioned descriptions.

With a good configuration of agents characteristics (based on statistics), we demonstrated that tasks schedules produced by Populate are representative of human ones. In conjunction with TopoPlan, it has been used to populate a district of Paris as well as imaginary cities with several thousands of pedestrians navigating in real time.

  • Participants: Fabrice Lamarche and Carl-Johan Jorgensen

  • Contact: Fabrice Lamarche