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The Action Level

  Even when an intention has been decided, it remains to determine how the intention should be fulfilled through the successive selection of motor actions. The selected sequence of actions, hence the behavioral outcome, depends on the dynamics of the 3D virtual world as well as the dynamics of the multiple desires of the fish. The latter manifests its effect through the motor preferences and hence, although there is only one intention or winning behavior at any instant in time, other behaviors can nonetheless influence the creature's actions.

We can further analyze the control at this level at two stages--the target stage where the target, i.e. the object of interest given the current intention, is chosen and the motor command stage where the final, detailed motor command is calculated. The target stage control is governed by the focusser and the motor command stage control is governed by the behavior routines.

The control process at the target stage can be viewed as the `competition' amongst the set of potential targets to become the current target. This is particularly obvious in the cases described in Section gif, where the fish tries to decide to which food morsel or mate it should attend. Since the desirability of each potential target may change over time (due to the dynamics of the virtual world and the motor preferences), the target may change over time. Consider the case when the fish intends to eat and there are multiple available food sources; it is possible that a fish may perform an interesting zigzagging behavior due to the competition between potential targets.

Once the current target is chosen, control is then passed to the active behavior routine. The final choice of a motor controller and the appropriate control parameters are computed based on the current state of the fish and the target, as well as the values of the motor preferences (see Section gif for examples and details).


next up previous contents
Next: Summary Up: Behavior Control and Ethology Previous: The Intention Level
Xiaoyuan TuJanuary 1996