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Multi-Agent Algorithm: Interact Method (requires iGeo version 7.4.0 or higher)

     Define Interact Method

IAgent has another important method "interact(ArrayList< IDynamics >)". This method is also executed at every update cycle of iGeo and this method of all agents is executed before update() method. This method takes one input argument of ArrayList (a class of variable-length array in Java) of IDynamics, which is a superclass of IAgent. This input argument contains all existing agents inside iGeo system at the moment. This method provides functionality for an agent to interact with other agents by checking other agents' state to update itself or interfering other agents.

The below is a template to define an interact method.

import processing.opengl.*;
import igeo.*;

void setup(){
  size(480, 360, IG.GL);
  MyAgent agent = new MyAgent();
}

class MyAgent extends IAgent{

  void interact(ArrayList< IDynamics > agents){
    // definition of interact behavior
  }

  void update(){
    // definition of update behavior
  }
}

You can write any code you want inside interact method to define the behavior of interaction but most of the time when you have only one agent class to interact, the code would look like the following template to have for-loop iteration to check all other agents.

import processing.opengl.*;
import igeo.*;

void setup(){
  size(480, 360, IG.GL);
  MyAgent agent = new MyAgent();
}

class MyAgent extends IAgent{

  void interact(ArrayList< IDynamics > agents){
    for(int i=0; i < agents.size(); i++){ //check all existing agents
      if(agents.get(i) instanceof MyAgent){ //type check
        MyAgent agent = (MyAgent)agents.get(i); //casting type
        if(agent!= this){ //agents include this instance itself
          // definition of interact behavior
        }
      }
    }
  }

  void update(){
    // definition of update behavior
  }
}

The interact method starts with the line " void interact(ArrayList< IDynamics > agents){ ". It has no return value and the variable name of input argument which contains all existing agents is "agents".
This for-loop on the first line is to iterate through all the existing agents in side the agents variable. In the for-loop, the number is counted up to agents.size(), which is total number of member inside the variable array.

for(int i=0; i < agents.size(); i++){

This if-condition on the second line is to check if the variable inside the variable-length array agents is an instance of MyAgent. agents.get(i) is to access the i-th member inside the array. The keyword "instanceof" is to check if the variable is an instance of the class MyAgent because the input argument agents could contain any type of agents.

if(agents.get(i) instanceof MyAgent){

The third line is to "cast" the variable of an unknown class into a variable of MyAgent class. The "casting" is a process to convert an instance of a superclass into that of subclass. Casting can be done by putting "(" + name of class + ")" in front of the variable. For more description about casting, please see this Java tutorial.

MyAgent agent = (MyAgent)agents.get(i);

Then on the fourth line it exclude the case the variable contained inside the variable-length array agents is the same instance with the one which is checking others right now. "this" refers to the currently executing instance itself.

if(agent!= this){


     Define Interact Method : Short Version

There is another way to define interact method with shorter description. The below is a template of shorter definition of an interact method.

import processing.opengl.*;
import igeo.*;

void setup(){
  size(480, 360, IG.GL);
  MyAgent agent = new MyAgent();
}

class MyAgent extends IAgent{

  void interact(IDynamics agent){
    if(agent instanceof MyAgent){ //type check
      MyAgent myAgent = (MyAgent)agent; //casting type
      // definition of interact behavior
    }
  }

  void update(){
    // definition of update behavior
  }
}

This shorter interact method takes an input argument of one instance of IDynamics, instead of a variable-length array of IDynamics. The iGeo system feeds each of all other agents into this method and you don't need to take for-loop to iterate through other agents. This interact method is executed as many as all other agents in the system.

There are two shortcomings of this method. One is that the speed of execution is slow. Another is that there's certain algorithms which require an access to all other agents at once and in this case it is not possible to write this algorithm inside this short version of interact method. So if either the speed matters or you write that type of algorhtm, please use the longer definition of interact method taking the input argument of all existing agents in a variable-length array ArrayList < IDynamics > agents.


     Interact Method Example 1

The code below shows an example of an agent with an interact method.

import processing.opengl.*;
import igeo.*;

void setup(){
  size(480, 360, IG.GL);
  IG.duration(120);
  LineAgent agent =
    new LineAgent(new IVec(0,0,0), new IVec(1,0,0));
}

static class LineAgent extends IAgent{
  static double length = 2;
  static double clearance = 1.99; //less than length

  IVec pt1, pt2;
  boolean isColliding=false;

  LineAgent(IVec pt, IVec dir){
    pt1 = pt;
    pt2 = pt.dup().add(dir.dup().len(length));
  }

  void interact(IDynamics agent){
    if(time == 0){ //only in the first time
      if(agent instanceof LineAgent){
        LineAgent lineAgent = (LineAgent)agent;
        // checking clearance of end point
        if(lineAgent.pt2.dist(pt2) < clearance){
          isColliding=true;
        }
      }
    }
  }

  void update(){
    if(isColliding){
      del();
    }
    else if(time == 0){ //if not colliding
      new ICurve(pt1,pt2).clr(0);
      IVec dir = pt2.dif(pt1);

      if(IRandom.percent(40)){ //bend 
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup().rot(IG.zaxis, PI/3));
      }
      if(IRandom.percent(40)){ //bend the other way
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup().rot(IG.zaxis, -PI/3));
      }
      if(IRandom.percent(80)){ //straight 
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup());
      }
    }
  }
}

In this algorithm, the interact method is checking collision with any existing LineAgent by this if-condition.

if(lineAgent.pt2.dist(pt2) < clearance){

In the update method, if it finds any collision, i.e. the variable isColliding is true, it delete itself and doesn't create a line. Otherwise, it puts a line and creates 3 child agents randomly in the direction of 60 degrees (PI/3), -60 degrees and straight. This inteaction and update logics are described in the following diagram.

All of this collision check and geometry and child agents generation is only done once at the time frame of 0 by the if-condition "if(time == 0){" which appears on both of interact and update method. The variable "time" is an instance field of IAgent showing how many updating cycles have elapsed since the instance is created.

The below shows the same algorithm written with the longer definition of the interact method in case the speed of the execution matters.

import processing.opengl.*;
import igeo.*;

void setup(){
  size(480, 360, IG.GL);
  IG.duration(120);
  LineAgent agent =
    new LineAgent(new IVec(0,0,0), new IVec(1,0,0));
}

static class LineAgent extends IAgent{
  static double length = 2;
  static double clearance = 1.99; //less than length

  IVec pt1, pt2;
  boolean isColliding=false;

  LineAgent(IVec pt, IVec dir){
    pt1 = pt;
    pt2 = pt.dup().add(dir.dup().len(length));
  }

  void interact(ArrayList< IDynamics > agents){
    if(time == 0){ //only in the first time
      for(int i=0; i < agents.size(); i++){
        if(agents.get(i) instanceof LineAgent){
          LineAgent lineAgent = (LineAgent)agents.get(i);
          if(lineAgent != this){
            // checking clearance of end point
            if(lineAgent.pt2.dist(pt2) < clearance){
              isColliding=true;
            }
          }
        }
      }
    }
  }

  void update(){
    if(isColliding){
      del();
    }
    else if(time == 0){ //if not colliding
      new ICurve(pt1,pt2).clr(0);
      IVec dir = pt2.dif(pt1);

      if(IRandom.percent(40)){ //bend 
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup().rot(IG.zaxis, PI/3));
      }
      if(IRandom.percent(40)){ //bend the other way
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup().rot(IG.zaxis, -PI/3));
      }
      if(IRandom.percent(80)){ //straight 
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup());
      }
    }
  }
}

     Interact Method Example 2

Another code is shown below which is the same line agent code with the previous code but the branching angle is randomized.

Please note that the range of random angle of branching is from PI/3 to PI/3*2 because if the angle is less than PI/3, the end point would collide with straight member. Or if the angle is more than PI/3*2, it would collide with the parent line when you have LineAgent.length and LineAgent.clearance close. LineAgent.clearance cannot be larger than LineAgent.length because an agent would judge that the line always collides with the parent line.

import processing.opengl.*;
import igeo.*;

void setup(){
  size(480, 360, IG.GL);
  IG.duration(250);
  LineAgent agent =
    new LineAgent(new IVec(0,0,0), new IVec(1,0,0));
}

static class LineAgent extends IAgent{
  static double length = 2;
  static double clearance = 1.99; //less than length

  IVec pt1, pt2;
  boolean isColliding=false;

  LineAgent(IVec pt, IVec dir){
    pt1 = pt;
    pt2 = pt.dup().add(dir.dup().len(length));
  }

  void interact(IDynamics agent){
    if(time == 0){ //only in the first time
      if(agent instanceof LineAgent){
        LineAgent lineAgent = (LineAgent)agent;
        // checking clearance of end point
        if(lineAgent.pt2.dist(pt2) < clearance){
          isColliding=true;
        }
      }
    }
  }

  void update(){
    if(isColliding){
      del();
    }
    else if(time == 0){ //if not colliding
      new ICurve(pt1,pt2).clr(0);
      IVec dir = pt2.dif(pt1);

      if(IRandom.percent(40)){ //bend 
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup().rot(IG.zaxis,
          IRandom.get(PI/3,PI/3*2)));
      }
      if(IRandom.percent(40)){ //bend the other way
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup().rot(IG.zaxis,
         -IRandom.get(PI/3,PI/3*2)));
      }
      if(IRandom.percent(80)){ //straight 
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup());
      }
    }
  }
}


     Interact Method Example 3

The following code is the 3 dimensional version of the last code. Tha algorithm is changed only inside update() method replacing the rotation axis from z axis to a random direction vector.

import processing.opengl.*;
import igeo.*;

void setup(){
  size(480, 360, IG.GL);
  IG.duration(150);
  new LineAgent(new IVec(0,0,0), new IVec(1,0,0));
}

static class LineAgent extends IAgent{
  static double length = 2;
  static double clearance = 1.99; //less than length

  IVec pt1, pt2;
  boolean isColliding=false;

  LineAgent(IVec pt, IVec dir){
    pt1 = pt;
    pt2 = pt.dup().add(dir.dup().len(length));
  }

  void interact(IDynamics agent){
    if(time == 0){ //only in the first time
      if(agent instanceof LineAgent){
        LineAgent lineAgent = (LineAgent)agent;
        // checking clearance of end point
        if(lineAgent.pt2.dist(pt2) < clearance){
          isColliding=true;
        }
      }
    }
  }

  void update(){
    if(isColliding){
      del();
    }
    else if(time == 0){ //if not colliding
      new ICurve(pt1,pt2).clr(0);
      IVec dir = pt2.dif(pt1);

      //rotation axis with random direction
      IVec axis = IRandom.pt(-1,1).len(1);

      if(IRandom.percent(50)){ //bend 
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup().rot(axis,
          IRandom.get(PI/3,PI/3*2)));
      }
      if(IRandom.percent(50)){ //bend the other way
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup().rot(axis,
         -IRandom.get(PI/3,PI/3*2)));
      }
      if(IRandom.percent(80)){ //straight 
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup());
      }
    }
  }
}


     Interact Method Example 4

This example below shows an algorithm to solve overlap of spheres. The interact method checks all other spheres if any of them has overlap with the current sphere and if it does, the current sphere moves itself to the location where it just touches the other sphere.

import processing.opengl.*;
import igeo.*;

void setup(){
  size(480,360,IG.GL);
  IG.duration(400);
  new MySphereAgent(IRandom.pt(-10,10),IRandom.get(5,20));
  new MySphereAgent(IRandom.pt(-10,10),IRandom.get(5,20));
  IG.fill();
}

class MySphereAgent extends IAgent{
  IVec pos;
  double radius;
  ISphere sphere;
  boolean changed=true;
  
  MySphereAgent(IVec p, double rad){
    pos = p;
    radius = rad;
  }
  
  void interact(IDynamics agent){
    if(agent instanceof MySphereAgent){
      MySphereAgent sa = (MySphereAgent)agent;
      double dist = sa.pos.dist(pos);
      if(dist < radius+sa.radius){
        IVec dif = pos.dif(sa.pos);
        //amount of overlap is this radius plus other radius minus distance between two centers
        dif.len(radius+sa.radius-dist);
        pos.add(dif); //only this agent is moved, not others
        changed=true; //state variable is updated
      }
    }
  }
  
  void update(){
    if(changed){
      // update sphere
      if(sphere!=null) sphere.del(); //shpere is null first
      sphere = new ISphere(pos, radius).clr(clr());
      changed=false;
    }
    if(time==5){ //delayed to create the next agent til time==5
      // next agent's direction
      IVec dir = IRandom.pt(-1, 1);
      double nextRadius = IRandom.get(5, 20);
      // amount of move is the current radius + the next one
      dir.len(radius+nextRadius);
      new MySphereAgent(pos.cp(dir),nextRadius).clr(IRandom.clr());
    }
  }
}


     Interact Method Example 5

The below shows another example of use of interact method. This interact method checks collision with other rectangles and if it collides on the right side or top side (in y direction) it shrinks the size. The left side and bottom side is not checked but other agent will check when it's on on the left or the bottom. Because the agent is checking the collision all the time, it's not deleted at the update method unless the shrunk size gets too small.

import processing.opengl.*;
import igeo.*;

void setup() {
  size(480, 360, IG.GL);
  IG.duration(500);
  int num=20;
  for (int i=0; i < num; i++) {
    new RectAgent(IRandom.pt(-100,-100, 0,100,100, 0),
                  20, 20).clr(IRandom.clr());
  }
}

static class RectAgent extends IAgent {
  static double gap = 1.0;
  static double minSize = 1.0;
  static double maxSize = 20.0;

  IVec pos;
  double width, height;
  boolean anyChange=true;
  ISurface rect;

  RectAgent(IVec pt, double w, double h) {
    pos = pt;
    width=w;
    height=h;
  }

  void interact(IDynamics agent) {
    // shrink the size when it collides with others.
    if (agent instanceof RectAgent) {
      RectAgent ra = (RectAgent) agent;
      // is it overlapping?
      if (ra.pos.x+ra.width+gap > pos.x &&
          ra.pos.x < pos.x + width+gap &&
          ra.pos.y+ra.height+gap > pos.y &&
          ra.pos.y < pos.y + height+gap) {
        // both x and y overlapping?
        if (ra.pos.x >= pos.x && ra.pos.y >= pos.y) {
          if ( ra.pos.x - pos.x > ra.pos.y - pos.y ) {
            width = ra.pos.x - pos.x - gap;
          }
          else {
            height = ra.pos.y - pos.y - gap;
          }
          anyChange = true;
        }
        // x is right of pos
        else if (ra.pos.x > pos.x) {
          width = ra.pos.x - pos.x - gap;
          anyChange = true;
        }
	// y is top of pos
        else if (ra.pos.y > pos.y) {
          height = ra.pos.y - pos.y - gap;
          anyChange = true;
        }
      }
    }
  }

  void update() {
    // update geometry only when the size changes
    if (anyChange) {
      if (rect != null) rect.del();
      if (width >= minSize && height >= minSize) {
        rect = IG.plane(pos, width, height).clr(clr());
      }
      // if too small, removed
      else { del(); }
      anyChange=false;
    }
    if (time==0) {
      new RectAgent(pos.cp(IRandom.pt(-10,-10, 0,10,10, 0)), 
        IRandom.get(minSize,maxSize),
        IRandom.get(minSize,maxSize)).clr(clr());
    }
  }
}


     Interact Method Example 6

The following code implements a simple cellular automaton algorithm using the interact method to define the state transition rules. This is one dimensional array of cellular automata and automata move down creating boxes if the state is 1 and also creating new automata on the side. For more information about cellular automata algorithm, please see the wikipedia page of cellular automaton.

import processing.opengl.*;
import igeo.*;

void setup() {
  size(480, 360, IG.GL);
  IG.duration(100);
  new MyAutomaton(new IVec(0, 0, 0));
}

static class MyAutomaton extends IAgent {
  static double size = 10;
  IVec pos;
  int state = 1;
  MyAutomaton leftAutomaton=null, rightAutomaton=null;
  int lstate = 0, rstate = 0;

  MyAutomaton(IVec p) { pos = p; }

  void interact(IDynamics agent){
    int leftState=0, rightState=0;
    //searching left and right automaton
    //if not found leftState & rightState are zero
    if(agent instanceof MyAutomaton){
      MyAutomaton automaton = (MyAutomaton)agent;
      if(automaton.pos.eqX(pos.dup().sub(size,0,0))){
        leftAutomaton = automaton;
        lstate = leftAutomaton.state;
      }
      else if(automaton.pos.eqX(pos.dup().add(size,0,0))){
        rightAutomaton = automaton;
        rstate = rightAutomaton.state;
      }
    }
  }

  void update() {
    // when state==1, put a box, otherwise no box
    if(state == 1){ 
      new IBox(pos.dup(), size, size, size).clr(0); 
    }
    // update state with a state transition table
    if(lstate==0 && state==0 && rstate==0){ state=0; }
    else if(lstate==0 && state==0 && rstate==1){ state=1; }
    else if(lstate==0 && state==1 && rstate==0){ state=1; }
    else if(lstate==0 && state==1 && rstate==1){ state=1; }
    else if(lstate==1 && state==0 && rstate==0){ state=1; }
    else if(lstate==1 && state==0 && rstate==1){ state=0; }
    else if(lstate==1 && state==1 && rstate==0){ state=0; }
    else if(lstate==1 && state==1 && rstate==1){ state=0; }
    //move down
    pos.add(0,-size,0);
    //new automaton
    if(leftAutomaton==null){
      new MyAutomaton(pos.dup().sub(size,0,0));
    }
    if(rightAutomaton==null){ 
      new MyAutomaton(pos.dup().add(size,0,0)); 
    }
  }
}


     Interact Method Example 7

The following code shows an example of branching agents with a collision detection algorithm using intersection of line segments.

import processing.opengl.*;
import igeo.*;

void setup(){
  size(480, 360, IG.GL);
  IG.duration(250);
  new LineAgent(new IVec(0,0,0), new IVec(0,1,0)).clr(0);
}

static class LineAgent extends IAgent{
  IVec pt1, pt2;
  boolean isColliding=false;
  
  LineAgent(IVec pt, IVec dir){
    pt1 = pt;
    pt2 = pt.cp(dir);
  }

  void interact(ArrayList< IDynamics > agents){
    if(time == 0){ //only in the first time
      for(int i=0; i < agents.size() && !isColliding; i++){
        if(agents.get(i) instanceof LineAgent){
          LineAgent a = (LineAgent)agents.get(i);
          if(a != this){
            if(!a.isColliding){
              IVec intxn = IVec.intersectSegment(pt1,  pt2, 
                                               a.pt1,a.pt2);
              if(intxn!=null){ //intersection exists
                if(!intxn.eq(pt1)){ //not parent agent
                  isColliding=true;
                }
              }
            }
          }
        }
      }
    }
  }
  
  void update(){
    if(isColliding){
      del();
    }
    else if(time == 0){ //if not colliding
      new ICurve(pt1,pt2).clr(clr());
      IVec dir = pt2.dif(pt1);
      
      double r = red()+IRand.get(0,0.01);
      double g = green()+IRand.get(0,0.01);
      double b = blue()+IRand.get(0,0.01);
      
      if(IRandom.percent(40)){ //bend
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup().rot(IG.zaxis,
          IRandom.get(0,PI/20))).clr(r,g,b);
      }
      if(IRandom.percent(40)){ //bend the other way
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup().rot(IG.zaxis,
         -IRandom.get(0,PI/20))).clr(r,g,b);
      }
      if(IRandom.percent(40)){ //straight 
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup()).clr(r,g,b);
      }
    }
  }
}

An intersection of two line segments can be calculated by the following method.

IVec.intersectSegment(line1Pt1, line1Pt2, line2Pt1, line2Pt2);

If two line segments intersect, it returns one vector (IVec) as the location of intersection. If not, it returns a null value. Note that there is another intersect method for infinite lines.

IVec.intersect(line1Pt1, line1Pt2, line2Pt1, line2Pt2);

Another note is that those two intersection methods are intersection of lines in 3D space and if they are not exactly intersecting in 3D within the tolerance (defined by IConfig.tolerance), it returns a null value. If you care about intersections only on 2D, you can use intersection methods in IVec2 class. It can be slightly faster to run.

IVec2.intersectSegment(line1Pt1, line1Pt2, line2Pt1, line2Pt2);

All input arguments and a return value are instances of IVec2, not IVec. To apply this 2D intersection in the previous code, you need to convert IVec to IVec2 by to2d() method as following. To convert IVec2 to IVec, you can use to3d() method.

import processing.opengl.*;
import igeo.*;

void setup(){
  size(480, 360, IG.GL);
  IG.duration(250);
  new LineAgent(new IVec(0,0,0), new IVec(0,1,0)).clr(0);
}

static class LineAgent extends IAgent{
  IVec pt1, pt2;
  boolean isColliding=false;
  
  LineAgent(IVec pt, IVec dir){
    pt1 = pt;
    pt2 = pt.cp(dir);
  }

  void interact(ArrayList< IDynamics > agents){
    if(time == 0){ //only in the first time
      for(int i=0; i < agents.size() && !isColliding; i++){
        if(agents.get(i) instanceof LineAgent){
          LineAgent a = (LineAgent)agents.get(i);
          if(a != this){
            if(!a.isColliding){
              IVec2 intxn = 
               IVec2.intersectSegment(pt1.to2d(),pt2.to2d(), 
                                    a.pt1.to2d(),a.pt2.to2d());
              if(intxn!=null){ //intersection exists
                if(!intxn.eq(pt1.to2d())){ //not parent agent
                  isColliding=true;
                }
              }
            }
          }
        }
      }
    }
  }
  
  void update(){
    if(isColliding){
      del();
    }
    else if(time == 0){ //if not colliding
      new ICurve(pt1,pt2).clr(clr());
      IVec dir = pt2.dif(pt1);
      
      double r = red()+IRand.get(0,0.01);
      double g = green()+IRand.get(0,0.01);
      double b = blue()+IRand.get(0,0.01);
      
      if(IRandom.percent(40)){ //bend
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup().rot(IG.zaxis,
          IRandom.get(0,PI/20))).clr(r,g,b);
      }
      if(IRandom.percent(40)){ //bend the other way
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup().rot(IG.zaxis,
         -IRandom.get(0,PI/20))).clr(r,g,b);
      }
      if(IRandom.percent(40)){ //straight 
        new LineAgent(pt2, dir.dup()).clr(r,g,b);
      }
    }
  }
}

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