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ANIMALS: Computer simulations of animal behavior (Toby Tyrrell)

ANIMALS is a simulation system written by Toby Tyrrell for his PhD thesis. The thesis examines the problem of action selection when dealing with realistic, animal-like situations: how to choose, at each moment in time, the most appropriate out of a repertoire of possible actions. It includes a description is given of a simulated environment which is an extensive and detailed simulation of the problem of action selection for animals. This simulated environment is used to investigate the adequacy of several theories of action selection (from both ethology and artificial intelligence) such as the drive model, Lorenz's psycho-hydraulic model and Maes' spreading activation network, and outlines deficiencies in each mechanism. Finally, it proposes a new approach to action selection is developed which determines the most appropriate action in a principled way, and which does not suffer from the inherent shortcomings found in other methods. The thesis includes a review and bibliography of existing work on action selection. The action selection problem modeled by the simulated environment comprises 15 different `sub-problems' (getting food, reproducing, not getting lost, being vigilant for predators, etc.), many internal and external stimuli, and 35 different low-level actions to select between.
Origin: []
   Thesis: as*.ps.Z
   Software: se.tar.Z

Requires: Suntools (SunView or OpenWindows) CD-ROM: Prime Time Freeware for AI, Issue 1-1 Author(s): Toby Tyrrell or Centre for Cognitive Science University of Edinburgh 2 Buccleuch Place Edinburgh Eh8 9LW UK Keywords: ANIMALS, Action Selection, Agent Architectures, Animal Behavior, Animal Simulations, Authors!Tyrrell, Behavioral Choice, C!Code, Computer Simulation, Environments, Mechanisms, PhD Thesis, Simulation!Animal Behavior References: Tyrrell, T. and Mayhew, J.E.W. 1991. Computer Simulation of an Animal Environment. In {\it Proceedings of the First International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior}. Meyer, J-A. and Wilson, S.W. (eds). MIT Press/Bradford Books. Tyrrell, T. 1992. Defining the Action Selection Problem. In the {\it Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society}. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Tyrrell, T. 1993. The Use of Hierarchies for Action Selection. In the {Journal of Adaptive Behavior}, {\bf 1}:4, 1993, to appear. Also in the {\it Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior}. Meyer, J-A., Wilson, S.W. and Roitblat, H. (eds). MIT Press/Bradford Books, 1993.
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