AgentPhysics: software design for pluggable real time physics middleware

This master’s thesis proposes a software design for a real time physics application programming interface with support for pluggable physics middleware. Pluggable means that the actual implementation of the simulation is independent and interchangeable, separated from the user interface of the API. This is done by dividing the API in three layers: wrapper, peer, and implementation.

An evaluation of Open Dynamics Engine as a viable middleware for simulating rigid body physics is also given based on a number of test applications. The method used in this thesis consists of an iterative software design based on a literature study of rigid body physics, simulation and software design, as well as reviewing related work.

The conclusion is that although the goals set for the design were fulfilled, it is unlikely that AgentPhysics will be used other than as a higher level API on top of ODE, and only ODE. This is due to a number of reasons such as middleware specic tools and code containers are difficult to support, clashing programming paradigms produces an error prone implementation layer and middleware developers are reluctant to port their engines to Java. The evaluation of ODE shows that ODE has decent features, performance and stability, and that ODE is good enough for small scale game development.

Author: Goransson, Johan

Source: Lulea University of Technology

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