Date of Award

8-2012

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Roy Turner

Second Committee Member

Phillip Dickens

Third Committee Member

James Fastook

Abstract

Traditional physics simulators use mathematical models to represent a realistic environment. Natural processes, however, are difficult to mimic accurately. We present a simulator that has the capability to alter its model based on actual physical measurements.

The simulator runs as a server to which remote clients can connect and assume control of entities within the virtual environment. The simulator then sends position updates to clients according to its model. Clients have the option of then correcting the data in these updates, sending feedback to the server. The server adjusts its model to accord with the corrections, allowing for a more realistic model.

Our simulator is general, allowing the user a wide range of customization. With its flexible system of virtual object representation, users can create their own arbitrarily rich virtual environments that include rigid bodies, magnetic fields, and radio waves. The system is designed to be extensible, which also allows the user to customize how the simulator processes its model. Default algorithms for calculating a time step and detecting collisions are provided, but are can easily be replaced by a user’s own implementation.

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