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Section: Application Domains

Interactions between walkers

Modeling and simulating the interactions between walkers is a very active, complex and competitive domain, interesting various disciplines such as Mathematics, Cognitive Sciences, Physics, Computer Graphics, etc. Interactions between walkers are by definition at the very core of our society since they represent the basic synergies of our daily life. When walking in the street, we take information about our surrounding environment in order to interact with people, move without collision, alone or in a group, intercept, meet or escape to somebody. Large groups of walkers can be first seen as a complex system: numerous local interactions occur between its elements and result into macroscopic emergent phenomena. Interactions are of various nature (e.g., collision avoidance, following) and are undergoing various factors as well. Physical factors are crucial as a group gathers by definition numerous moving people with a certain level of density. But sociological, cultural and psychological factors are important as well, since people’s behavior is deeply changed from country to country, or depending on the considered situations. On the computational point of view, simulating the movements of large groups of walkers (i.e., crowds) pushes traditional simulation algorithms to their limit. As an element of a crowd is subject to interact with any other element belonging the same crowd, a naïve simulation algorithm has a quadratic complexity. Specific strategies are set to face such a difficulty: level-of-detail techniques enable scaling large crowd simulation and reach real-time solutions.

MimeTIC is an international key contributor in the domain of understanding and simulating interactions between walkers, in particular for virtual crowds. Our approach is specific and based on three axes. First, our modeling approach is based on human movement science: we conduct challenging experiments focusing on the perception as well as on the motion involved in local interactions between walkers both using real and virtual set-ups. Second: we develop high-performance solutions for crowd simulation. Third, we develop solutions for realistic navigation in virtual world to enable interaction with crowds in Virtual Reality.