A method and apparatus for modeling interactions between bodies. The method comprises representing two bodies undergoing translations and rotations by two hierarchical swept volume representations. Interactions such as nearest approach and collision can be modeled based on the swept body representations. The present invention can serve as a practical tool in motion planning, CAD systems, simulation systems, safety analysis, and applications that require modeling time-based interactions. A body can be represented in the present invention by a union of convex polygons and convex polyhedra. As used generally herein, polyhedron includes polygon, and polyhedra includes polygons. The body undergoing translation can be represented by a swept body representation, where the swept body representation comprises a hierarchical bounding volume representation whose leaves each contain a representation of the region swept by a section of the body during the translation, and where the union of the regions is a superset of the region swept by the surface of the body during translation. Interactions between two bodies thus represented can be modeled by modeling interactions between the convex hulls of the finite sets of discrete points in the swept body representations.
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MODELING INTERACTIONS
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.