Adding "foveal vision'' to Wilson's animat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Different animals employ different strategies for sampling sensory data. The strategies are often closely constrained by environmental considerations, such as the animals' ecological niche. In animals tat can see, differences in sampling strategy manifest themselves as differences in field of view and in spatially variant sampling (so called "foveal'' vision). In analysing adaptive behaviour in animals, or attempting to design autonomous robots, mechanisms for exploring variations in sensory sampling stragegy will be required. This paper describes our work exploring a minimal system for investigating the effects of variations in patterns of sensory sampling. We have reimplemented Wilson's (1986) animat, and then experimented with altering its sensory sampling pattern (i.e. its sensory field). Empirical results are presented which demonstrate that alterations in the sensory field pattern can have a significant effect on the animat's observable behaviour.

Analysis of our results involves characteristing the interactions between the animat's sensory field and the environment within which the animat resides. We found that observed behaviour can, at least in part, be explained as a result of the animat cautiously moving in a manner which maximises the uptake of new infomation from the environment over time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECAL '93
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Second European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL'93)
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1993
EventSecond European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL '93) - Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 24 May 199326 May 1993


ConferenceSecond European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL '93)


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