Wednesday, April 09, 2008

3D Agent Based Modelling in Cities

There are a number of agent-based modelling toolkits available for the creation of 3D agent-based models (e.g. NetLogo, Repast). However there is difficulty in incorporating geographical information into such models. On solution is potentially importing such geographical information into a 3D modelling package and creating agents directly within such a system.

This is exactly what Andy Hudson Smith, a colleague from CASA and writer of the Digital Urban blog has been experimenting with creating agent-based models in 3D Studio Max.

The first movie below displays Andy’s first tentative steps using the system to create an 'Ant Like' behaviour on a surface:

Click here to see the original blog post

While the first movie highlights the first steps in developing 'Ant Like' behaviours on a surface, their second movie displays a degree of intelligence in their agents. The agents are now aware of the environment around them and each other, as such they avoid collisions while wandering around the surface:

Click here to see the original blog post

While this is work in progress, Andy is developing this work further hoping to develop a 3D city model with agents such as cars and pedestrians interacting with their environment and with each other.

For more information on the creation of 3D models and updates of the work its well worth checking out the Digital Urban blog. Andy is planning on writing a tutorial on the system as soon as it is more advanced.

On a side note one can also loosely couple an agent-based model with 3D Studio Max, for example T. Narahara of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA it explores the integration of NetLogo with 3D Studio Max. Under a paper entitled Enactment Software: Spatial Designs using Agents-Based Models.’

The Agent-based Environment in NetLogo (left), and the 3-D Visualization (right)


Sotopia concepts said...

Do you print your models in 3D with a 3d printer? We have nice experiences with such a method for architects and product developers.


Andrew Crooks said...

Andy from Digital Urban who is working in the 3D ABM has had experience of printing models in 3D, we have a few around the office, check out his blog post on 3D printing