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Title: Planning plausible human motions for navigation and collision avoidance
Author: Chen, J.-R.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis investigates the plausibility of computer-generated human motions for navigation and collision avoidance. To navigate a human character through obstacles in an virtual environment, the problem is often tackled by finding the shortest possible path to the destination with smoothest motions available. This is because such solution is regarded as cost-effective and free-flowing in that it implicitly minimises the biomechanical efforts and potentially precludes anomalies such as frequent and sudden change of behaviours, and hence more plausible to human eyes. Previous research addresses this problem in two stages: finding the shortest collision-free path (motion planning) and then fitting motions onto this path accordingly (motion synthesis). This conventional approach is not optimal because the decoupling of these two stages introduces two problems. First, it forces the motion-planning stage to deliberately simplify the collision model to avoid obstacles. Secondly, it over-constrains the motion-synthesis stage to approximate motions to a sub-optimal trajectory. This often results in implausible animations that travel along erratic long paths while making frequent and sudden behaviour changes. In this research, I argue that to provide more plausible navigation and collision avoidance animation, close-proximity interaction with obstacles is crucial. To address this, I propose to combine motion planning and motion synthesis to search for shorter and smoother solutions. The intuition is that by incorporating precise collision detection and avoidance with motion capture database queries, we will be able to plan fine-scale interactions between obstacles and moving crowds. The results demonstrate that my approach can discover shorter paths with steadier behaviour transitions in scene navigation and crowd avoidance. In addition, this thesis attempts to propose a set of metrics that can be used to evaluate the plausibility of computer-generated navigation animations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available