, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 185-193
Date: 23 Feb 2005

Intelligent virtual agents keeping watch in the battlefield

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One of the first areas where virtual reality found a practical application was military training. Two fairly obvious reasons have driven the military to explore and employ this kind of technique in their training; to reduce exposure to hazards and to increase stealth. Many aspects of combat operations are very hazardous, and they become even more dangerous if the combatant seeks to improve his performance. Some smart weapons are autonomous, while others are remotely controlled after they are launched. This allows the shooter and weapon controller to launch the weapon and immediately seek cover, thus decreasing his exposure to return fire. Before launching a weapon, the person who controls that weapon must acquire/perceive as much information as he can, not only from its environment, but also from the people who inhabits that environment. Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) are used in a wide variety of simulation environments, especially in order to simulate realistic situations as, for example, high fidelity virtual environment (VE) for military training that allows thousands of agents to interact in battlefield scenarios. In this paper, we propose a perceptual model, which seeks to introduce more coherence between IVA perception and human being perception, increasing the psychological “coherence” between the real life and the VE experience. Agents lacking this perceptual model could react in a non-realistic way, hearing or seeing things that are too far away or hidden behind other objects. The perceptual model, we propose in this paper introduces human limitations inside the agent’s perceptual model with the aim of reflecting human perception.