Our approach to developing artificial animals is consistent with the ``animat'' approach proposed by Wilson [Wilson1990]. To render our computational model visually convincing, we attempt also to capture, with reasonable fidelity, the appearance and physics of the animal and its world. Artificial fishes may be viewed as animats of high sophistication. They are autonomous virtual robots situated in a continuous, dynamic 3D virtual world. Their functional design, including motor control, perceptual modeling, and behavioral simulation presents hurdles paralleling those encountered in building physical autonomous agents (see, e.g., the compilation by Maes Maes91). Previously, the most complex animats were inspired by insects. Brooks (see [Brooks1991]) describes a physical insect robot ``Genghis'', bristling with sensors, that can locomote over irregular terrain, while Beer develops a virtual counterpart, a cockroach with simple behaviors in a 2D world [Beer1990, Beer and Chiel1991]. Our work tackles animal behavior more complex than those modeled in existing work such as the above. To deal with the broad behavioral repertoire of fishes, we exploit ideas from physics-based graphics modeling, from biomechanics, from behavioral animation, from autonomous agent studies and from ethology.
|Xiaoyuan Tu||January 1996|