Cognitive Modeling in the Spaceroom

As one can find in examining the [[spaceroom-system-components|architecture of the spaceroom]] there are a number of application components as well as a component based system in designing the applications that handle the modeling side of things in the system. The current modeling is primarily focused on the physical systems of the ship itself, modeling such things as power generation and consumption by devices as well as the motive force generation of the engine system and shields. The physics modeling of the system is managed by the ODE library. Eventually the sound system using Direct3D will allow for realistic sound management as well. Realistic display is still a while off but could also be managed by libraries such as OpenGL. A piece that was missing was a component that could be used to evaluate the state of the system and based on rules invoke actions. This is a complicated process that requires the ability to define many rules that can be evaluated in parallel.

The good news is that there is an application/library system that has been designed to do exactly this. [ SOAR] is a system designed and built by the University of Michigan, to model a form of cognition based on using input to update its state model and then evaluate rules to determine what actions should be performed. It can operate on internal or external input and output. The challenge will be to define the rules, state models and actions that will be able to drive interesting aspects of the overall simulation system.

In particular this seems like an ideal system for modeling the behavior of simulated actors within the system, where an actor could be any that should have some form of independent behavior. An example could be another ship piloted by another trader, or a pirate, or even an alien. It could also be used to model an alien race overall and track its intent based on actions that the crew takes in its travels. For example repeated travel into disputed territory could escalate the a trait such as aggression. The aggression could lead to deploying more ships to an area increasing the chance of a direct encounter and possible confrontation. If the crew is able to negotiate perhaps aggression would decrease, however if they engaged in battle then it could perhaps lead to larger scale problems like overall hostilities in a region. The possibilities are only limited by imagination and a concrete rule system to model it.

This system is going to take much work to figure out how to use it.