Publication:
Hierarchical task network prototyping in Unity3D

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Authors
Miller, David
Subjects
hierarchical task network
HTN
dynamic behaviors
behavior prototyping
agent-based simulation
entity-level combat model
game engine
discrete event simulation
virtual environments
Advisors
Balogh, Imre
Date of Issue
2016-06
Date
16-Jun
Publisher
Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
The Combined Arms Analysis Tool for the 21st Century, or COMBATXXI, is the primary analytical combat simulation model in use by the Marine Corps' Operations Analysis Division (OAD) and the Army's Training and Doctrine (TRADOC) Analysis Center for weapon system and force effectiveness analysis. The bottleneck in the COMBATXXI scenario production process is the behavior development process. Analytically useful scenarios demand complex and dynamic behaviors that react to the unique circumstances of the simulation's current state. Hierarchical Task Networks (HTN) are the state-of-the-art methodology in COMBATXXI used to describe dynamic behaviors. Although HTNs decrease the scenario development time, they are difficult to conceptualize, validate, and troubleshoot. The long iteration cycle is due, in part, to the complex development environment, the necessity of a large simulated infrastructure to test behaviors, and an inability to visually debug. Here we present a solution for prototyping HTNs by extending an existing commercial implementation of Behavior Trees within the Unity3D game engine prior to building the HTN in COMBATXXI. Existing HTNs were emulated within this prototyping environment to test transferability of the behaviors, and new HTNs were prototyped in Unity3d prior to being built in COMBATXXI as a proof of concept. Prototyping HTNs in a 3D development environment may prove useful by reducing the iteration time and improving the overall quality of the behaviors. The interactive nature of Unity3d reduces the iteration time, and the ability to rapidly test many different cases improves the quality of the behaviors.
Type
Thesis
Description
Department
Computer Science
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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