Tracking improves performance of biological collision avoidance models

Vivek Pant, Charles M. Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Abstract Collision avoidance models derived from the study of insect brains do not perform universally well in practical collision scenarios, although the insects themselves may perform well in similar situations. In this article, we present a detailed simulation analysis of two well-known collision avoidance models and illustrate their limitations. In doing so, we present a novel continuous-time implementation of a neuronally based collision avoidance model. We then show that visual tracking can improve performance of thesemodels by allowing an relative computation of the distance between the obstacle and the observer.We compare the results of simulations of the two models with and without tracking to show how tracking improves the ability of the model to detect an imminent collision.We present an implementation of one of thesemodels processing imagery from a camera to showhow it performs in real-world scenarios. These results suggest that insects may track looming objects with their gaze.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-322
Number of pages16
JournalBiological Cybernetics
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Collision avoidance
  • Computational modeling
  • Computer vision
  • Insect vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science(all)


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