Steering Behaviors are the next logical step in the further development of the 'boids' model created by Craig Reynolds in 1986. The 'boids' computer based model is a way to simulate the coordinated movements seen in flocks of birds or fish. The name 'boids' identifies here one instance of the simulated creatures. The original flocking model was based on three distinct behaviors. The 'Separation' behavior was used to prevent situations where members of the swarm were crowding each other. 'Aligment' was used to steer all elements of the flock in a common direction. The third behavior, 'Cohesion', steered a single 'boid' to the average position of nearby flockmates. Reynolds was able to create a realistic simulation of the natural behaviors of swarm through a skillful combination of these three simple behaviors. A first example for the usage of this model is the short film "Stanley and Stella in: Breaking the Ice". It was created by the Symbolics Graphics Division in a cooperation with Whitney / Demos Production in the year 1987. The first showing was in the electronic theater at Siggraph 1987. Craig Reynolds presented the evaluated and implemented algorithms for obstacle avoidance of each individual 'boid' that were used in this production in his paper titled 'Not bumping into things' in the year 1988. He described several possibilities for algorithms and rules for the avoidance of obstacles. The strategies are not based on complex planning strategies and pathfinding algorithms, but instead only use local information, e.g. objects in the near radius around the vehicle. Reynolds work on steering behaviors, presented at the Games Developer Conference in 1999, enhances the behaviors already presented in the original 'boids' model. New building parts for complex autonomous systems are presented. Each of these new behaviors defines only a specific reaction on the simulated environment of the autonomous system, simply called vehicle in the later course. The results are simple building parts for complex systems. Depending on the combination of behaviors the vehicle can be configured to handle different complex situation. The behaviors grouped under the name 'Steering Behaviors' are only the lowest level for an autonomous system. Several examples for how these can be combined are presented in the paper. At Siggraph 2000, Robin Green presented a paper titled 'Steering Behaviours'. In his work he builds on the behaviors described in Reynolds paper and brings up examples on how these can be implemented using the C++ language. In addition several possible problems and their corresponding solutions are discussed. His work was created as part of the development of the 'Dungeon Keeper 2' computer game of Bullfrog Productions Ltd. This game can be seen as a successful utilization of steering behaviors. The autonomous characters in the game are controlled using simple behaviors and show what kind of realism can be achieved.

Date What's new?
2007-12-04 I uploaded a new version of the steering source. An ANT build file is now included and the package stucture has changed. Check out the software page
21-Nov-2001 The complete JavaDoc is available for download! Check out the software page
13-Nov-2001 A preview of the english version has been added! Check out the theory page
03-Nov-2001 The Theory part has been updated!
28-Oct-2001 SteeringCreator version 1.0 is available for download! Get it here: Software page
28-Oct-2001 Get the full source code for all applets, the Steering Creator and supporting applications! Download it from the software page
09-Oct-2001 The beta version of the SteeringCreator is available for download! Check out the software page
06-Oct-2001 Now, there are two more java applets available. Check out the applet page
26-Sep-2001 Added some scene-samples to the applet. Try the "Open project"-button
25-Sep-2001 Simulation Applet is online
01-Aug-2001 First BETA-version available. Go to the download page

Copyright 2001-2010 Christian Schnellhammer, Thomas Feilkas, All Rights Reserved.