Center for Human Modeling and Simulation

Navigation and Steering for Autonomous Virtual Humans

Mubbasir Kapadia, University of Pennsylvania
Norman I. Badler, University of Pennsylvania

Document Type Journal Article


The ever-increasing applicability of interactive virtual worlds in industry and academia has given rise to the need for robust, versatile autonomous virtual humans to inject life into these environments. There are two fundamental problems that must be addressed to produce functional, purposeful autonomous populaces: (1) Navigation: finding a collision-free global path from an agent’s start position to its target in large complex environments, and (2) Steering: moving an agent along the path while avoiding static and dynamic threats such as other agents. In this review, we survey the large body of contributions in steering and navigation for autonomous agents in dynamic virtual worlds. We describe the benefits and limitations of different proposed solutions and identify potential future research directions to meet the needs for the next generation of interactive virtual world applications.


Date Posted: 29 February 2016

This document has been peer reviewed.