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Simulating Intelligent Behaviour of Moving Agents

10,000 3,000

Topic Description

Summary of the Project
The aim of this project was to investigate the simulation of intelligent moving behaviour using sheep and a sheepdog as the example. A program was to be developed to simulate the movement of a flock of sheep and a sheepdog. It was to extend a simulation of a flock of sheep in the existing Rapsoft software suite, written in the Prolog programming language. This modelled the sheep as Finite State Automata, with different states for the different activities of the sheep, including basic flocking behaviour.
The sheepdog was to be modelled to react to the commands given to it by a user playing the part of the shepherd using the traditional sheepdog commands. The user was to be able to effectively manipulate the flock of sheep in the same way as would a shepherd. The program sought to simulate the real world as closely as possible.
The aim was to determine whether the techniques used for the program (the Prolog language and the technique of Finite State Automata), and the algorithms used for the movement and behaviour of the sheepdog and the sheep are effective and appropriate in doing this. It was hoped to generate realistic, emergent behaviour using appropriate rules for the sheep and for the movement of the sheepdog.
The project took in a review of the literature and other research concerning simulating moving agents and the flockin g of sheep and the behaviour of sheepdogs. The model of the sheep was adapted and a model of the sheepdog was produced. These models were implemented to produce an effective simulation of the situation. A detailed evaluation of the success of the simulatio n and of the methods used was produced. The impacts of the findings of the project for this field and for future work were assessed.

Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction…………………………………………………………… 1
1.1 Objectives……………………………………………………………………………………………….1
1.2 Minimum Requirements …………………………………………………………………………..2
1.3 Proposed Schedule …………………………………………………………………………………..3
1.4 Project Development………………………………………………………………………………..3
1.5 Guide to the Report………………………………………………………………………………….4
Chapter 2: Background …………………………………………………………… 4
2.1 Flocking Background ……………………………………………………………………………….4
2.2 Modelling Flocking………………………………………………………………………………….5
2.2 General Background ………………………………………………………………………………..7
2.3 Tools and Techniques ………………………………………………………………………………8
2.3.1 Prolog……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
2.3.2 Finite State Automata …………………………………………………………………………… 8
Chapter 3: Models…………………………………………………………………… 9
3.1 Description of Sheep Automata …………………………………………………………………9
3.1.1 Possible Proble ms with the Sheep………………………………………………………….. 11
3.2 Description of Sheepdog Automata ………………………………………………………….11
Chapter 4: Implementing the Simulation …………………………………. 13
4.1 Making the Sheepdog …………………………………………………………………………….13
4.1.1 State Actions …………………………………………………………………………………….. 14
4.1.2 Encircling Methods: Away To Me/Come Bye ………………………………………….. 17
4.2 Changes for sheep ………………………………………………………………………………….19
4.3 Program Structure and Automaton Architecture ………………………………………..21
Chapter 5: Experiments…………………………………………………………. 22
5.1 Results ………………………………………………………………………………………………….23
5.2 Conclusions …………………………………………………………………………………………..23
Chapter 6: Evaluation……………………………………………………………. 25
6.1 Comparisons with other Projects ……………………………………………………………..25
6.2 Extensions …………………………………………………………………………………………….26
6.3 Evaluation against Minimum Requirements and Aim …………………………………27
6.4 Overall Evaluation Criteria ……………………………………………………………………..28
6.5 Limitations ……………………………………………………………………………………………29
6.6 Reflections on Process ……………………………………………………………………………30
6.6.1 Overall Reflections …………………………………………………………………………….. 30
Bibliography: ……………………………………………………………………….. 31
Appendix A: The Project Experience ………………………………………. 32
Appendix B: Experiment Results…………………………………………….. 33
Appendix C: Code………………………………………………………………….

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