The research group "Interactive Graphics and Simulation" would like to invite you to the talk of


Matthias Müller


Position Based Dynamics: A Fast and Robust Simulation Method for Games and Robot Learning


Date: Monday, 28th of May, 2018, 2-3pm
Place: Seminar room 1, ground floor, ICT building


The physically based simulation of mechanical effects has been an important research topic in computer graphics for more than two decades. Classical methods in this field discretize Newton’s second law and determine different forces to simulate various effects like stretching, shearing, and bending of deformable bodies or pressure and viscosity of fluids, to mention just a few. Given these forces, velocities and finally positions are determined by a numerical integration of the resulting accelerations.

In the last years position based simulation methods have become popular in the graphics community. In contrast to classical simulation approaches these methods compute the position changes in each simulation step directly, based on the solution of a non-linear, quasi-static problem. Position-based approaches are fast, stable and controllable which make them well-suited for use in interactive environments such as computer games. A more recent application is the training of robots on hundreds of virtual copies simultaneously.

In this talk I will first introduce the basic concept of position based dynamics and show the connection to existing integration methods. I will then discuss how position based methods are applied to simulate cloth, ropes, volumetric deformable bodies, rigid body systems and fluids. Finally I will talk about our publicly available position based solver FLEX and recent FLEX-related projects.


Matthias Müller received his PhD in atomistic simulation of dense polymer systems in 1999 from ETH Zürich. During his post-doc with the MIT Computer Graphics Group (1999-2001), he changed fields to macroscopic physically based simulations. He has published papers on particle-based water simulation and visualization, finite element-based soft bodies, cloth simulation, and fracture simulation. The main focus of his research are unconditionally stable, fast and controllable simulation techniques for the use in computer games. Most relevant to this talk, he is one of the founders of the field of position based simulation methods. In 2002, he co-founded the ETH-spin-off company NovodeX developing a physics library for games. The company was acquired in 2004 by AGEIA and in 2008 by nvidia. He is currently the head of the physics research team at NVIDIA.

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