Tuesday 25 August 2009

Simulation of Starlings flocking behaviour using captured 3D video recordings of Starlings in flight

I was quite interested to find this flocking simulation of starling's on MIT's Physics arXiv blog.

I mentioned Reynold's flocking behaviour model in an earlier post, it's nice to see progress has been made in creating more accurate simulations by actually capturing 3D recordings using stereographic photography of real starlings in flight.

These video recordings that were published last year has actually allowed Charlotte Hemelrijk at the University of Groningen to create a flocking model, and vary the parameters that closely match real flight recordings of the starlings.

These birds have very complex rules creating this self-organising behaviour, and the researchers seem to have been able to take apart the rules that govern them. These rules also govern other species such as fish, insects and even human crowds, and will likely give further insight into crowd behaviour, and allow for more accurate simulations of human crowds.

I'll be looking forward to seeing a video of this flocking simulation.

Monday 24 August 2009

XFlow: Fluid simulation tool

I've just come across XFlow, from NextLimit, which is an accurate fluid simulation tool. It uses a particle based method, instead of a computational grid that are used in other Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) tools.

The interesting part of this tool is that they have explored other fields, where CFD can be applied to. As they use a particle based method, it is well suited for applying to simulation for complex systems. Examples include:

1. Traffic Simulation
2. Cell Simulation
3. Crowd Simulation

For the crowd simulation application, the particles can represent the pedestrians in different conditions, which can then be applied to scenarios such as emergency evacuation.

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Layar: Augmented Reality Browser - Google Android Platform

I've just come across this Augmented reality browser available as an app on the Google Android Market. This is not actually an app, but a platform, which has provided its own API. Therefore, developers can create their own augmented reality layers on top of the browser. This addition of layers over the application brings huge potential in crowd sourced content, and the various other uses that are possible such as augmented reality tour guides, tourist information, social networks, points of interest, transport, etc.,

There can be some more exotic approaches that can be applied to this kind of platform, such as augmented reality games, although, they have been around for a while (mainly GPS location based games), this takes it to a whole new level.

I also wonder about the possibility of using this platform to study crowd behaviour of tourism and leisure activities. These types of behaviour have been traditionally very hard to model, and as this platform will mainly be focussed on these kinds of activities, it would give an insight into the behaviour. Although, getting user permission to gather such data would be an issue in itself.