The changing face of contemporary military conflicts has forced a major shift of focus in tactical planning and evaluation from the classical Cold War battlefield to an asymmetric guerrilla-type warfare in densely populated urban areas. The new arena of conflict presents unique operational difficulties due to factors like complex mobility restrictions and the necessity to preserve civilian lives and infrastructure. In this paper we present a novel method for autonomous agent control in an urban environment. Our approach is based on fusing terrain information and agent goals for the purpose of transforming the problem of navigation in a complex environment with many obstacles into the easier problem of navigation in a virtual obstacle-free space. The main advantage of our approach is its ability to act as an adapter layer for a number of efficient agent control techniques which normally show poor performance when applied to an environment with many complex obstacles. Because of the very low computational and space complexity at runtime, our method is also particularly well suited for simulation or control of a huge number of agents (military as well as civilian) in a complex urban environment where traditional path-planning may be too expensive or where a just-in-time decision with hard real-time constraints is required.
In many critical applications such as airport operations (for capacity planning), military simulations (for tactical training and planning), and medical simulations (for the planning of medical treatment and surgical operations), it is very useful to conduct simulations within physically accurate and visually realistic settings that are represented by real video imaging sequences. Furthermore, it is important that the simulated entities conduct autonomous actions which are realistic and which follow plans of action or intelligent behavior in reaction to current situations. We describe the research we have conducted to incorporate synthetic objects in a visually realistic manner in video sequences representing a real scene. We also discuss how the synthetic objects can be designed to conduct intelligent behavior within an augmented reality setting. The paper discusses both the computer vision aspects that we have addressed and solved, and the issues related to the insertion of intelligent autonomous objects within an augmented reality simulation.