FreeWalk is a platform where human participants and autonomous characters can socially interact with one another in a virtual city space. The applications of FreeWalk include 3D chat, multi-user training, and visual simulations. FreeWalk has such three capabilities as human behavior visualization, model-based simulation, and multi-user participation. The multi-user multi-agent architecture of FreeWalk allows Internet users to take part in a large-scale online simulation, e.g. an evacuation from a virtual central railway station. The simulation scenario of FreeWalk can be written in Q language.The development and research of FreeWalk is led by Hideyuki Nakanishi and Toru Ishida.

The latest version of FreeWalk is FreeWalk3 (version 4.0). FreeWalk3 is developed by Ishida Lab. and JST Digital City Project. The download package is available currently in Japanese and English. The package includes the interaction design language Q.

FreeWalk evolved from a communication environment into a social interaction simulator. FreeWalk1 is a spatial videoconferencing system in which human participants can gather to talk. To FreeWalk1, FreeWalk2 added social agents that are autonomous characters as a part of participants. FreeWalk3 equipped FreeWalk2 with a virtual city that simulates a real-world city. This is the brief history of our development and research. You can see more details in our publications.


Virtual environments including the three versions of FreeWalk can be classified according to the ratio of their focus on communication and simulation. This classification corresponds to which factors of social interaction are covered by virtual environments.

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