While studying for my BA Web Design and Multimedia at the University of Derby I was required to produce an Independant Study for exhibition at our end of year show.
After much deliberation, I decided to investigate an area of Artificial Intelligence known as ´Flocking Behaviour´ and as my specialisation, was Flash that seemed like an appropriate technology to use.
This simulation demonstrates a common form of emergent behavior the result of which is akin to a flock of birds, a school of fish, or a swarm of insects. The program simulates simple agents that are allowed to move according to the following three simple rules:
With these rules the flock moves in an extremely realistic way, creating complex motion and interaction that would be extremely hard to create otherwise. A fourth rule can also be added to force the entities to avoid obstacles or enemies.
Flocking has been used in many films to generate crowds and animals which move realistically. Tim Burton's Batman Returns (1992) featured flocking bats and penguins, Disney's The Lion King (1994) included a wildebeest stampede and more recently the Lord of the Rings films have used steering behaviour to simulate the movement of the orc armies.