Dr. Tomáš Treščák

IIIA - Artificial Intelligence Research Institute
CSIC - Spanish Scientific Research Council
Campus Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
08193 Bellaterra, Catalonia, Spain

General Info: My main research areas of past five years are: normative virtual worlds, intelligent virtual agents and computational design, namely shape grammars. My Shape Grammar Interpreter (SGI), is being used by hundreds of user around the world.
In the area of normative virtual worlds, I focus on Virtual Institutions. I am the main researcher of VIXEE a Virtual Institution Execution Environment, which provides technological means of connecting several virtual worlds with an Electronic Institution.
Research Interests: Artificial IntelligenceGraphic Design Virtual Worlds Computational Design Agent-Based SimulationIntelligent AgentsComputational Intelligence Digital Humanities Human-computer Interaction Teaching Methods EngineeringSociocybernetics Communication and MediaCrowd GenerationNormative Virtual Worlds CyberculturesEducational TechnologySoftware Engineering Science Education
Web Page: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tomas_Trescak/
Contact: ttrescak<at>iiia.csic.es
Phone: +34 935809570
Fax: +34 935809661

Project: Shape Grammar Interpreter (SGI)

Description: Shape grammars play an important role in a new generation of tools for the analysis and design of products. Up until now there has been numerous attempts to create a general shape grammar interpreter, but most of the existing tools are either very specificin theirpurpose, have only limited functionality or were programmed for one operating system. In this work we present atool named Shape Grammar Interpreter (SGI) for the automatic generation of designs. The developed shape grammar framework allows designers to automatically synthetise designs and to actively participate in the generation process. Great effort has been devoted to providean interactive way of defining shapes and later using them in shape grammar rules and designs' generation process. The tool implements two different types of algorithms for the generation of designs. First, Tree-search algorithms which store the state of the generation process in a tree structure and uses traditional tree-search algorithms to find the next rule to apply. Second, and most importantly, an optimized sub-shape detection algorithm. Hence, sub-shapes of the existing shapes can be detected and used in the generation process obtaining not only a wider set of designs butpotentially more appealing ones. Wedescribe the architecture of the framework and provide a performance evaluation of proposed algorithms, showing a significant gain in performance. Potential applications of our research can be found in the educational field (i.e. architecture and arts) and in the automatic generation of architectural, mechanical and product designs.
Disciplines: Computational Design AlgorithmsShape Grammars
Support Material: General OverviewThe general introduction video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcmPwwHvIbY shows how to quick start on using SGI. It deals with downloading, installing, defining and executing a simple shape grammar.

Shape EditorThe shape editor video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hAhegihidE presents in detail with the shape editor. It explains how to add, remove and operate shapes visually and parametrically.

Rule EditorThe rule editor video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVeytdkPzUw shows how to create and modify different types of spatial shape grammar rules visually and parametrically. Namely it contemplates the modification, addition and substitution rules.

GeneratorThe last video from the SGI help series at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5025jV1XTio presents how to generate (or synthetise) new design from the current grammars. It handles different types of execution protocols, i.e. tree-search and subshape detection.

Project: Virtual World Grammar (VWG) and Virtual World Builder Toolkit (VWBT)

Description: Hybrid systems such as those that combine 3D virtual worlds and organization based multiagent systems add new visual and communication features for multi-user applications. The design of such hybrid and dynamic systems is a challenging task. In this paper we propose a system that can automatically generate a 3D virtual world (VW) from an organization based multiagent system (MAS) specification that establishes the activities participants can engage on. Both shape grammar and virtual world paradigms inspired us to propose a Virtual World Grammar (VWG) to support the generation process of a virtual world design. A VWG includes semantic information about both MAS specification and shape grammar elements. This information, along with heuristics and validations, guides the VW generation producing functional designs. To support the definition and execution of a Virtual World Grammar, we have developed a so named Virtual World Builder Toolkit (VWBT).
Disciplines: Computational Design AlgorithmsShape Grammars
  • Journal Article: Trescak, T., Esteva, M., and Rodriguez, I. (2010b). A Virtual World Grammar for Automatic Generation of Virtual Worlds. The Visual Computer Journal, 26:521–531. Springer
  • Conference Proceedings: Trescak, T., Esteva, M., Rodriguez, I., and Morales, J. Virtual World Grammar (extended abstract). In Proceedings of The 9th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS’10), May 10-14, 2010, Volume 1-3; 01/2010, pages 1627–1628, Toronto, Canada. IFAAMAS
  • Conference Proceedings: Trescak, T., Esteva, M., Rodriguez, I., and Morales, J. A Virtual World Builder Toolkit. In Proceedings of The 9th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2010) - Demo, Toronto, Canada, May 10-14, 2010, Volume 1-3; 01/2010, Toronto, Canada. IFAAMAS
  • Conference Proceedings: Trescak, T., Esteva, M., and Rodriguez, I. . Generating 3D Virtual Environments Using The Virtual World Builder Toolkit. In Computer Graphics International 2010 (CGI’10) - Demo, Singapore
Support Material: General OverviewIn the video Virtual World Builder Toolkit - Presentation Video I. HD, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93amVShBG1k, we present a system that automatically generates a 3D virtual world from specifications of virtual institutions, namely of activities that will take place in the virtual world. A virtual institution is visualized as a building composed of rooms representing the different activities defined in its specification. It is an interaction environments where participants can be human and software agents and where software and human agents can participate and collaborate in a joint 3D virtual world. We propose an extension of shape grammars called virtual world grammar (VWG).

Shape EditorThe second part of VWBT series, Virtual World Builder Toolkit - Presentation Video II. HD at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fQ-i17FnZ4

Project: Virtual Institution Execution Environment (VIXEE)

Description: Virtual Institutions (VIs) have proven to be adequate to engineer applications where participants can be humans and software agents. VIs combine Electronic Institutions (EIs) and 3D Virtual Worlds (VW). In this context, Electronic Institutions are used to establish the regulations that structure interactions and support software agent participation while Virtual Worlds facilitate human participation. In this paper we propose Virtual Institution eXEcution Environment (VIXEE) as an innovative communicationinfrastructure for VIs. Using VIXEE to connect Virtual Worlds and EI opens EI to humans, providing a fully operational and comprehensive environment. The main features of the infrastructure are i) the causal connection between Virtual Worlds and Electronic Institutions, ii) the automatic generation and update of the VIs' 3D visualization and iii) the simultaneous participation of users from different virtual world platforms.
Disciplines: Normative Virtual Worlds Multiagent SystemsElectronic Institutions 3D Virtual Worlds
Support Material: General OverviewIn this video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF6qCypjJDc we present the multi-verse possibility of VIXEE, that is the possibility to connect several differen environments with the same Electronic Institution.

Shape EditorVideo from AAMAS 2010 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktOje-IopZc is presenting a first version of VIXEE, used as conceptual proof of concepts.

Project: Crowd Generation (Genetic Mixer)

Description: Simulating large crowds of virtual agents has become an important problem in virtual reality applications, video games, cinematography and training simulators. In this paper, we show how to achieve a high degree of appearance variation among individual 3D avatars in generated crowds through the use of genetic algorithms, while also manifesting unique characteristic features of a given population group. We study howvirtual cities can be populated with diverse crowds of virtual agents that preserve their ethnic features.
Disciplines: Crowd GenerationGeneric AlgorithmsVirtual Worlds Ethnic Crowds Cultural Simulation
Support Material: General OverviewCinematic version of the Genetic Mixer video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVIAUmz5X1E presents the motivation and possible use of the Genetic Mixer

Shape EditorA bit more technical video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wc-wIsX3GP0 provides a hands-on experience of how to work with the Genetic Mixer

Project: Agents in Games and Simulation (AGS)

Description: This project describes how to re-purpose an existing Virtual Institutions as a mechanism to define new “quest” elements in Massively Multiplayer Online Games based on Multi-Agent Systems. Quests are a very important part of most Massive Online Games as they wield to flow and narrative of the game in a linear or non-linear manner.
Disciplines: Electronic Institutions Virtual WorldsNormative Virtual Worlds MMORPG Multiagent systems

Project: Student Projects

Description: Previous research has been applied to the domain of e-Government.
Disciplines: Electronic Institutions Virtual Worldse-* Applications e-Government