Guide Bot Topology - smarter AI with smarter Pathfinding
Guide Bot Topology is an innovative pathfinding solution for intelligent agents' movement in the complex 3D virtual worlds.
Due to unique approach of representing passable space with interconnected concave polygons (instead of convex polygons) Guide Bot outperforms rivals by effectiveness of memory usage and speed of real-time pathfinding.
Furthermore, calculated in fully automated mode topology contains additional information about world partitioning by separated hierarchically-structured zones that reflect topological entities of the real world such as yards, houses, rooms etc. It allows agents to think and act in more diverse and conscious way while dealing with complex 3d worlds.
The main features of Guide Bot Topology are:
Automatic Topology Calculation
Guide Bot performs fully automatic topology calculation based on processing of 3D polygonal models representing parts of virtual world. The result is stored in a file or several files in such a way that allows deferred loading of topology parts possible. Preprocessing of raw geometry can be done either in stand-alone application Topology Calculator or by calling Guide Bot's API directly form the 3D Engine.
Less Memory Consumption
While the most of other NavMesh solutions work with convex polygons to store information of passable space Guide Bot Topology operates with segments that mark boundaries of impassable areas. Such kind of approach makes a big difference to memory consumption. As you can see from the picture below even for a very simple geometry Guide Bot needs almost twice less vertices than NavMesh to describe the same geometry. For more complex types of geometry Guide Bot advantage will be much more significant.
Elaborated Spacial Partitioning
All walkable space is divided into hierarchical-structured zones interconnected by passes. The zones are calculated with heuristics algorithms to reflect topological entities of the real world such as yards, houses, rooms etc. On the pictures below you can see how the yard with two houses would be represented in Guide Bot Topology.
Guide Bot performs two-level pathfinding. At first, path is built between zones, using zones connectivity graph. Then the agent makes its way inside a zone, heading to the pass to the next zone. At this level of pathfinding agent uses "rounding corners" method to avoid obstacles and zone boundaries.
Dynamic Obstacles And Zones
All types of obstacles in Guide Bot (static obstacles, dynamical obstacles and zone boundaries) are represented by concave polygons. It allows usage of unified "Rounding corners" approach for different obstacle types with minimum overhead for moving dynamic objects, compared to static ones. One of the unique Guide Bot features is the allowance of dynamic zones. Agents can travel in and out moving zones, which can have numerous obstacles and other zones inside. Such zones can represent ships, buses, cars and other big moving entities.
Enhanced Tactical Maneuvering
Information about spacial partitioning based on conception of zones gives agents additional capabilities during combat missions. For example, Guide Bot Topology agents can encircle the enemy by blocking all passes that lead to zone where the enemy is hiding or try to take the enemy in the rear by choosing alternative passage to penetrate the zone.