Ribbon networks for modeling navigable paths of autonomous agents in virtual urban environments

Peter Willemsen, Joseph K. Kearney, Hongling Wang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


The paper presents a real-time database for modeling complex networks of intersecting roads and walkways in urban virtual environments. The database represents information about the layout of streets and sidewalks, the rules that govern behavior on roads and walkways, and the locations of agents with respect to road and sidewalk structures. This information is used by programs that control the behavior of autonomous vehicles and pedestrians populating the virtual urban environment. Roads and sidewalks are modeled as ribbons in space. The ribbon structure provides a natural coordinate frame for defining the local geometry of navigable surfaces. This geometry is important for way finding and also forms the geometric basis on which spatial relationships among agents are defined. The database includes a powerful run-time interface supported by robust and efficient code for locating objects on the ribbon network, for mapping between Cartesian and ribbon coordinates, and for determining behavioral constraints imposed by the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE Virtual Reality 2003, VR 2003
EditorsJim Chen, Bowen Loftin, Ulrich Neumann, Haruo Takemura, Bernd Froehlich
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)0769518826
StatePublished - 2003
Event2003 IEEE Virtual Reality, VR 2003 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: Mar 22 2003Mar 26 2003

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Virtual Reality


Other2003 IEEE Virtual Reality, VR 2003
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2003 IEEE.


  • Autonomous agents
  • Complex networks
  • Geometry
  • Mobile robots
  • Remotely operated vehicles
  • Roads
  • Robustness
  • Runtime environment
  • Spatial databases
  • Virtual environment


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