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About GATE

GATE final publication 2012
Results from the GATE research project
a 75 page overview (pfd 4.7 Mb)

GATE Magazine 2010
a 36-page overview of the GATE project (pdf 5.3 Mb

Research themes:
Theme 1: Modeling the virtual World
Theme 2: Virtual characters
Theme 3: Interacting with the world
Theme 4: Learning with simulated worlds

Pilot Education Story Box
Pilot Education Carkit
Pilot Safety Crisis management
Pilot Healthcare Scottie
Pilot Healthcare Wiihabilitainment

Knowledge Transfer Projects:
Sound Design 
Motion Controller
Mobile Learning
Glengarry Glen Ross
Enriching Geo-Specific Terrain
Pedestrian and Vehicle Traffic Interactions
Semantic Building Blocks for Declarative Virtual World Creation 
Computer Animation for Social Signals and Interactive Behaviors


Center for Advanced Gaming and Simulation
Department of Information and Computing Sciences
Utrecht University
P.O. Box 80089
3508 TB Utrecht
The Netherlands
Tel +31 30 2537088


 ICTRegie is a compact, independent organisation consisting of a Supervisory Board, an Advisory Council, a director and a bureau. The Minister of Economic Affairs, and the Minister of Education, Culture and Science bear the political responsibility for ICTRegie. The organisation is supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and SenterNovem.

GATE Research Theme 2. Virtual Characters

Virtual worlds are inhabited by virtual characters. These characters must behave in natural ways, based on the way they sense their environment and based on their own internal emotional state and relations to other characters. The virtual characters should be able to adapt to the situation at hand. They should react and plan their actions.  
    We distinguish two types of virtual characters – agents and avatars. An agent is a virtual character driven by intelligence that is fed into the software through principles or rules (based on empirical data). Agents are already used in gaming and simulation, sometimes in large numbers. However, natural cognitive and motor behavior is limited by the completeness and validity of the principles and rules. An avatar is a virtual character driven by an instrumented human who is immersed in a virtual environment. Avatars are used in “human-in-the-loop” simulations.
     Most of the requirements for serious gaming and simulation regarding true-to-life agents and avatars cannot be met by the current state-of-the-art techniques. This leads to a number of open problems and challenges, which can be classified into three categories: modeling motor behavior, modeling cognitive behavior, and modeling planning behavior.
The GATE theme “Virtual Characters” has been divided into three work packages:

WP 2.1 Modeling motor behavior

Computer games and simulations are everyday use in modern societies. In games and simulations humans are represented by virtual characters. Natural behavior of these characters is very important for the level of involvement and fun induced by games and for the value of the conclusions drawn from simulations. ... more

WP 2.2 Modeling Cognitive Behavior of Virtual Characters

In this (sub)project we investigate cognitive/mental attitudes of agents in a game (both virtual characters and human players): how are they represented and how are they related to the behavior of the agents? ... more

WP 2.3 Natural Paths for Virtual Entities

Computer games are inhabited by virtual characters. Such characters move around in the virtual world to perform certain actions. So an important task of virtual characters is to plan their paths to a required destination. Such a path must be natural. ... more