Path planning and navigation are indispensable components for controlling autonomous agents in interactive virtual worlds. Given the growing demands on the size and complexity of modern virtual worlds, a number of new techniques have been developed for achieving intelligent navigation for the next generation of interactive multi-agent simulations. This book reviews the evolution of several related techniques, starting from classical planning and computational geometry techniques and then gradually moving toward more advanced topics with focus on recent developments from the work of the authors. The covered topics range from discrete search and geometric representations to planning under different types of constraints and harnessing the power of graphics hardware in order to address Euclidean shortest paths and discrete search for multiple agents under limited time budgets. The use of planning algorithms beyond path planning is also discussed in the areas of crowd animation and whole-body motion planning for virtual characters.
Table of Contents: Preface / Acknowledgments / Basic Approaches for World Representation / Discrete Search Algorithms / Euclidean Shortest Paths / Navigation Meshes and Geometric Structures with Clearance / Extending Basic Search Techniques / Constraint-Aware Navigation / Anytime Dynamic Search on the GPU / Dynamic Planning of Footstep Trajectories for Crowd Simulation / Planning using Multiple Domains of Control / Motion Planning for Character Motion Synthesis / Epilogue / Bibliography / Authors' Biographies