These are a few of the research areas that are currently active in the GAIA laboratory. Use the menu on the left to obtain more information about each area.

Intelligent Agents

There is an ongoing desire to make virtual humans a more accessible tool for use in entertainment, training, and evaluation. From the graphical level to the animation level to the intelligence level, complexities abound. As research progresses some of these complexities become hidden from the end user. Ultimately, we would like to treat agents as real humans and instruct and interact with them as you might another person.

Crowd Simulations

Most crowd simulation research either focuses on navigating characters through an environment while avoiding collisions or on simulating very large crowds. This work focuses on creating populations that inhabit a space as opposed to passing through it. Characters exhibit behaviors that are typical for their setting. We term these populations functional crowds. A key element of this work is ensuring that the simulations are easy to create and modify. Roles and groups help specify behaviors, a parameterized representation adds the semantics of actions and objects, and four types of actions (i.e. scheduled, reactive, opportunistic, and aleatoric) ensure rich, emergent behaviors.

Serious Games

While serious games should still be entertaining and engaging, they are also designed for another purpose. The main purpose of a serious game might be to train or education the player about some topic or they might enable the player to investigate an area or the game might be advertising a product or cause. Serious games have been developed in a number of arenas, including defense, education, scientific exploration, health care, emergency management, city planning, engineering, politics, and religion.