An Authoring Tool for Interactive Behaviors Of Virtual Characters for Cultural Training

Rosenberg, B., Furtak, M., Metzger, M., Neal Reilly, S., Niehaus, J., and Weyhrauch, P.

Proceedings of Human Social Culture Behavior (HSCB) Focus 2011, Chantilly, VA (February 2011)

The changing landscape of modern warfare has put a premium on small teams to function efficiently in settings requiring cultural awareness. In addition to limited live training opportunities using human role players, simulation-based training with virtual environments is an enabling technology within the Human Social Cultural Behavior (HSCB) modeling community for warfighters to practice social and cultural skills. However, current cultural trainers are expensive to construct and slow to adapt to changes in the operational environment. We will describe a series of ongoing efforts for the defense community in developing Persona, a tool for rapid cultural behavior authoring and execution of virtual characters. Persona provides a graphical behavior authoring tool to enable training staff to rapidly create diverse training experiences. This authoring tool supports modeling capabilities for realistic socio-cultural training (e.g., socio-cultural relationships, emotions, animations) and has been integrated with several simulation environments. We will discuss Persona’s use in USJFCOM’s Future Immersive Training Environment Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (FITE JCTD) Spiral 1 demonstration. In addition, we will discuss enhancements to Persona to support recognizing and generating behavior for specific socio-cultural contexts and providing a persistent virtual environment to enable trainees to learn the impact of their interactions with local populations.

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