Scalable dynamical systems for multi-agent steering and simulation

Siome Goldenstein, Menelaos Karavelas, Dimitris Metaxas, Leonidas Guibas, Ambarish Goswami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We present a new methodology for agent modeling that is scalable and efficient. It is based on the integration of nonlinear dynamical systems and kinetic data structures. The method consists of three-layers that model steering, flocking, and crowding agent behaviors among moving and static obstacles in 2 and 3D. The first layer, the local layer is based on the the use of nonlinear dynamical systems theory and models low level behaviors, it is fast and efficient, and does not depend on the total number of agents in the environment. The use of dynamical systems allows the use of continuous numerical parameters with which we can modify the interaction of each agent with the environment. This creates controllable distinctive behaviors. The second layer, a global environment layer consists of a specifically designed kinetic data structure to track efficiently the immediate environment of each agent and know which obstacles/agents are near or visible to the given agent. This layer reduces the complexity in the local layer. In the third layer, a global planning layer, the problem of target tracking is generalized in a way that allows navigation in maze-like terrains, avoidance of local minima and cooperation between agents. We implement this layer based on two approaches that are suitable for different applications. One is to track the closest single moving or static target. The second is to use a pre-specified vector field. This vector can be generated automatically (with harmonic functions, for example) or based on user input to achieve that desired output. We demonstrate the power of the approach through a series of experiments simulating single/multiple agents and crowds moving towards moving/static targets in complex environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3973-3980
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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