About SimSpark

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What is Simspark?

SimSpark is a generic physical multiagent simulator system for agents in three-dimensional environments. It builds on the flexible Spark application framework.

It is used as the official Robocup 3D simulation server. If you would like to see it in action, please check out this video of the final game in the RoboCup 3D Soccer Simulation League at RoboCup 2010 in Singapore.

In comparison to specialized simulators, users can create new simulations by using a scene description language. SimSpark is a powerful tool to state different multi-agent research questions.

What is Spark?

Spark is a physical simulation system. The primary purpose of this system is to provide a generic and flexible simulator for different kinds of simulations. In these simulations, agents can participate in-process or out-of-process.

Who should use Simspark?

Any one who is interesting in physical simulation.

One of SimSpark's most popular applications is in the RoboCup 3D Soccer Simulation. If you wish to compete in 3D simulated robotic soccer, then you have come to the right place.

What is the history of SimSpark?

SimSpark was developed as part of the RoboCup initiative, initially called Robot World Cup Initiative. It is an international research and education initiative. It is an attempt to foster AI and intelligent robotics research by providing a standard problem where wide range of technologies can be integrated and examined, as well as being used for integrated project-oriented education.

For this purpose, RoboCup chose to use soccer game as a primary domain, and organizes competitive RoboCups. The simulation league is one of several leagues where the entire soccer game takes places in a simulated environment. SimSpark’s two dimensional predecessor simulation models the players and the ball as flat spheres. It further lacks a realistic physical environment.

As one of the long term goals of the soccer simulation is to aim for realism the long term objective are realistic humanoid players in a physical environment. These players should one day challenge the champion of the most recent World Cup.

Therefore, on the RoboCup 2003 Symposium a new approach to a three-dimensional physically realistic soccer simulation was proposed. In a road map discussion for the Soccer Simulation League on RoboCup 2003, the participants decided on adding the three-dimensional simulation to the competitions.

For RoboCup 2004, SimSpark was successfully used for the first official competition in RoboCup Simulation League 3D. The soccer simulation for this tournament was developed in parallel with the SimSpark simulator. In its initial version players were modeled as spheres in a physical three dimensional world. Since then SimSpark grew considerably and now supports humanoid players with articulated bodies.

It served from the beginning as a test bed and a guide for essential new features that were added to the simulator during development. However changes to the simulator core were never customized for the soccer simulation. Instead generic simulator services were implemented with all soccer specific details contained in a set of plugins.

Who develops Simspark?

Many people devote themselves into the development. The main developers are:

  • Oliver Obst
  • Jan Murray
  • Joschka Boedecker
  • Markus Rollmann
  • Mosalam Ebrahimi
  • Hedayat Vatankhah
  • Sander van Dijk
  • Xu Yuan

A full list of developers is available on SourceForge.

Many users contribute by reporting bugs. If you find a bug, please send an email to the mailing list.

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