Functional Crowds

  • Jan M. Allbeck
Reference work entry


Most crowd simulation research either focuses on navigating characters through an environment while avoiding collisions or on simulating very large crowds. Functional crowds research focuses on creating populations that inhabit a space as opposed to passing through it. Characters exhibit behaviors that are typical for their setting, including interactions with objects in the environment and each other. A key element of this work is ensuring that these large-scale simulations are easy to create and modify. Automating the inclusion of action and object semantics can increase the level at which instructions are given. To scale to large populations, behavior selection mechanisms must be kept relatively simple and, to demonstrate typical human behavior, must be based on sound psychological models. The creation of roles, groups, and demographics can also facilitate behavior selection. The simulation of functional crowds necessitates research in animation, artificial intelligence, psychology, and human-computer interaction (HCI). This chapter provides a brief introduction to each of these elements and their application to functional crowds.


Crowd simulation Virtual humans Patterns of life Computer animation AI 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Zhigang Deng
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science,University of HoustonHoustonUSA

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