Behavioral control mechanisms working in conjunction with the perception and the locomotion control mechanisms make our artificial fishes autonomous agents.
To achieve a level of behavioral realism consistent with the locomotional abilities of artificial fishes, it is prudent to consult the ethology literature [Tinbergen1950, Lorenz1973, McFarland1987, Adler1975]. Tinbergen's landmark studies of the three-spined stickleback highlight the great diversity of piscine behavior, even within a single species. The artificial fishes' behavior repertoires are modeled after natural piscatorial behaviors common across several species. We achieve the nontrivial patterns of behavior (including schooling behaviors as convincing as those demonstrated by Reynolds) in stages. First, we implement primitive reflexive behaviors, such as obstacle avoidance, that tightly couple perception to action [Braitenberg1984, Resnick1987]. Then, through an effective action selection mechanism, the primitive behaviors are combined into motivational behaviors whose activation depends also on the artificial fish's mental state, including hunger, libido, and fear.
As the behavioral repertoire broadens, the issue of action selection becomes crucial. In the next section we survey related prior work on the design of action selection mechanisms for autonomous agents.
|Xiaoyuan Tu||January 1996|