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michal

Ai traffic?

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Hi guys, do we know whether they'll be any changes to Ai traffic? I find this area to be a difficult obsticle rather than a nice feature. Now don't get me wrong, I loved it when FS2002 incorporated AI traffic but ever since it's just never got any better. I have the standard traffic installed, Soar and Landmark etc however a large number of people are actually creating packages for Ai traffic, I've just never dared to use them because I like being able to land at an airport without having to go-around all the time.:D I would definitely consider using them if the Ai traffic behaved correctly.Any improvements to Ai traffic then? And does anybody have any info on this area, no mention from Microsoft.:(

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Thanks Tom. I should add that there have been Ai traffic improvements in FS2004, that being the ability for touch & go's at airports and taxi into position and hold. I'd say it's more to do with the approach that the system has trouble with.

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The AI Aircraft system itself should have AI characteristics in which the separation distances (via change in airspeed, altitude, etc.) of the AI Aircraft are directly proportional to 1) the number of total Aircrafts (AI and non-AI) in the region at a given instance, and 2) weather/visibility conditions in the region at a given instance. Or, perhaps, somehow associate the separation distances uniquely to airports and the number of Aircraft that are taking off and landing at airports.I don't know if these characteristics are true in FS2004, or know if it is even possible to implement such AI behavior in the sim.David

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Yep, no question the separation distance is a problem with AI traffic in FS2004. I hate it when you're doing a nice final in a Cessna and you get a 747-400 running down your tail. Or vice-versa, you're in a 747 and you've got a Cessna Caravan in front of you on short final.Granted, in real life you wouldn't have these types of aircraft sharing the same runway, ordinarily...

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Agreed Mace, although you can instruct GA types to fly VFR which enables them to do a short final rather than an ILS but the short final isn't short enough and they end up getting cleared to land 4 miles away. It would be great if the ATC instructed them to circle close to the runway (as in real life) if it's busy. The aircraft's sole intention is to takeoff, fly then land regardless of anybody else and whatever the cost.:-lol While I'm here, paralell runways are another problem. Ai aircraft having to cross a runway to get to another more often than not disappear because there are too many aircraft on final approach or departing on that particular runway. This can easily be fixed if ATC didn't wait for a landing or departing aircraft to be completely clear of the runway i.e. contacted the departure frequency, and contacted ground. I've watched them close hand in real life and as soon as an arriving or departing aircraft has gone past the nose of 'waiting to cross' aircraft they begin to move. Perhaps also, ATC clears arriving traffic too early sometimes 8 miles away, in that time it is very safe to allow upto four planes to cross an active.

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Hi,While it leads to some (harmless but ugly) AI aircraft collisions, you can improve the crossing runway problem by using the "diamond" technique in the AFCAD file. This allows aircraft to cross the runway no matter what.Basically, you move the current taxiway/runway intersection node over to the right (to create the right half of the diamond), create another taxiway straight across the runway that does NOT intesect the runway, and then create a mirror image of the right half of the diamond on the left side (i.e. two more taxiway segments). Remove the line markings from the diamond taxiways if necessary.Hope this helps,--Tom GibsonCal Classic Propliner Page: http://www.calclassic.comFreeflight Design Shop: http://www.freeflightdesign.comDrop by! ___x_x_(")_x_x___

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Thanks alot for the info Tom. Which program would I need to do that? Don't worry I won't be asking lots of questions, I will read the documents.;-)

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YES, AI is full of bugs.1. There is no concept of seperation - aircraft arrive for landing in "clumps", flying literally in military-like formation trying to all land on the same runway at the same time. 2. Aircraft movement on the ground looks often silly: aircraft gets stuck (sometimes on the runway!!) and won't move for long minutes even though nothing is blocking its progress. You often see aircraft half-way on a runway and half out of runway - and frozen. Interesting.3. Do not obey "hold short" points which clearly are not meant for your direction of movement.Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpghttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg

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>YES, AI is full of bugs.Are those really bugs, or are they indications that we, the users, have pushed the software well beyond its design limit?I don't see those types of problems using default AI, on a clean stock installation. It only seems to be a problem after installing tens of thousands of flightplans, using dozens of models, hundreds of repaints, and 3rd party AFCADs. How is that a bug?Just curious.Nick

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Hi Nick,Yep this is why I've only ever stuck to the default setup, although I do use many addons like scenery and aircraft but Ai traffic is an area I've never had the courage to change. Even though go-arounds are low with default traffic I still have problems with aircraft trying to land before me and the problems I've mentioned previously. I suppose to make this work properly MS would need to open up another FS department working on an addon title for FS aimed at Ai traffic, the only trouble is would it sell? I for one would definitely consider investing in such a title aswell as Flight Simulator itself because I would love to be able to fly in such an enviroment.

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Hi,I completely agree that the ATC and AI systems need an overhaul. There is no doubt about that.I too have had all the same troubles that you and Michael talk about. My only recourse has been to fly without ATC, and to put up with being cutoff by AI aircraft when I'm on final. Its the price I pay in order to have 100 Delta aircraft on the ground in ATL. No one wants to see speed restrictions, holding, and STARs for AI more than I do, but until I get it, I'm just going to have to compromise.Some people's criticism seems pretty unfounded. I would compare it to modifying a Honda Civic with a V-12 engine, driving it at 200mph and then complaining to Honda that the wheels came off. There was nothing wrong with the wheels. They performed as designed, but you asked them to do too much.Its the same way with the ATC/AI. There's nothing "wrong" with it, its just not as feature rich as we want it to be. I'm sure that this will change, sooner or later.Nick

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>Are those really bugs, or are they indications that we, the>users, have pushed the software well beyond its design limit?Well, then design limits should be changed. There is no excuse for aircraft being stuck on the runway after it landed because it perceives there is too much activity on the parallel runway which it eventually must cross. This is no AFCAD issue - it is software issue. I imagine that there are design limits and any airport could be easily overwhelmed by too may landing aircraft but waiting indefinitely on the runway with plenty of acres of spare taxiway concrete in front of you is a bug - no matter how you slice it. A well written AI/airport software should be able to utilize airport resources and not create artificial bottlenecks. And that's what FS9 does today in the AI department - it generates its own problems and unfortunately these have a rather cascading effect.If word "bug" bothers someone - I am perfectly agreeable to call it "a serious limitation".If only I could get my hands on this AI stuff .... at my work we do very similar things simulating aircraft (not for gaming purposes). I am just itching ...Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpghttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg

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<>The analogy I had in mind was trying to clear pasture land of waist-high grass using a 2HP walk-behind mower, but your is good, too.

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Well I've heard of programs called AI Smooth and AI seperation but the comments I'm seeing on forums is that they don't perform as expected. I agree that the limits of the Ai software are reached as soon as you begin to add a few flightplans. But as AI traffic is an important enviroment factor to flight simming (you'd think so anyway) I think Microsoft should perhaps give this area a little more attention than in the past.Tdragger, I believe you are from the FS team, I take my hat off to you, I can't even imagine how difficult a product Flight Sim is and keeping all us geeks happy.:D

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<>Oh, please, we don't desrve it. Michal is right--we're basically a bunch of slackers who couldn't program our way out of a paper bag using a chainsaw. Seriously, the effects you observe are the result of applying general purpose algorithms to specific problems and is something just about every software developer faces regardless of the application. Because FS is not a level-based game and because we allow you to create and add an infitite variety of content we don't have the luxury of programming specific routines to achieve a "perfect" result.Take the ATC system. The airport manager is basically a complex routing system that can take an aircraft's current position and desired destination and compute a path to get there along an arbitrary network, taking into account constraints like other traffic, hold short rules, etc. But it does not control the aircraft--the AI pilots do. Plus, since any 3rd party aircraft with unique handling characteristics can be used by AI pilots we cannot assume how the actual aircraft will behave once in the system.Throw that altogether and you have a very complicated problem. In the case of AI aircraft crossing an active runway the airport manager has to make a "best guess" as to how long it will be from the time it issues a clearance to the AI pilot until the aircraft is safely across and then reference that guess against the aircraft on the runway, on approach, etc. We could script everything to make it perfect but that would mean no custom aircraft, no custom airports, no custom AFCAD files, etc.When faced with a problem like this is often makes sense to take a conservative approach. The net result for you is that things appear to happen more slowly than they do in the real world and the system shows its limitations when the traffic volume increases.So that explains why it works the way it does. Will it ever work differently? We have a good idea of the system's limitations and we know from reading feedback on the forums and email send to tell_fs that this is important to you. So it is something that we consider as part of advancing the state of the platform.Cheers.

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>Well I've heard of programs called AI Smooth and AI>seperation but the comments I'm seeing on forums is that they>don't perform as expected.No, unfortunately they don't. In this case pendulum swings in another extreme direction - no aircraft land at all. You have an empty runway waiting for someone to land but nobody does because all sort of conflicts were detected. :(If I were to sit and design AI software I would begin by enforcing some simple rules that I would make of highest priority in the code:1. vacate the runway immediately (when practical) after you landed2. never make 180 turn on the active runway3. if you have spare taxiway in front of you - move forward to the next hold-short point4. allow for occasional crossing of active runway - if you don't do that an imbalance quickly arise between landing and takeoff aircraft....6. implement a pseudo-Tracon facility that would at least space aircraft 90 sec apart for landing. Perform S-turns, control speed do holds to realize this separation. Not a very complex programming should allow us to cope say with off-peak hours traffic at Boston-Logan.Please take it as constructive criticism, I have faith in MSFS programmers that they can accomplish it, eventually. I know it is all about man-hours. ;)Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpghttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg

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>2. never make 180 turn on the active runwayHmmm on an airport where the ONLY exit is behind you once landed this is impractical.At the airport I control (on VATSIM) EGNH, the only validentry /exit to the runway for IFR traffic is at the western end of 10/28 makes that rule impossible even!Cheers n beersIan

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There are some isolated and small airports around the world where 180 on the runway is the only way to go. But this doesn't apply to great majority of commercial airports where jet aircraft land. By the way, this falls under AFCAD. My rule simply states: if AFCAD allows you to "not" make a 180 turn - DONT. At some airports AFCAD will tell you that you have no choice and 180 is required to get you from the runway.Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpghttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg

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>Hi,>>I completely agree that the ATC and AI systems need an>overhaul. There is no doubt about that.>>I too have had all the same troubles that you and Michael talk>about. My only recourse has been to fly without ATC, and to>put up with being cutoff by AI aircraft when I'm on final. Its>the price I pay in order to have 100 Delta aircraft on the>ground in ATL. >>No one wants to see speed restrictions, holding, and STARs for>AI more than I do, but until I get it, I'm just going to have>to compromise.>>Some people's criticism seems pretty unfounded. I would>compare it to modifying a Honda Civic with a V-12 engine,>driving it at 200mph and then complaining to Honda that the>wheels came off. There was nothing wrong with the wheels. They>performed as designed, but you asked them to do too much.>>Its the same way with the ATC/AI. There's nothing "wrong" with>it, its just not as feature rich as we want it to be. I'm sure>that this will change, sooner or later.>>NickThat has to be one of the most level headed posts I've ever read regarding Flight Sim. Thank you.Cheers,Jason

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Even the simplest of rules has consequences. It's not a matter of making the right rules, it's a matter it's a matter of what you're willing to lose in user experience and computer performance:>1. vacate the runway immediately (when practical) after you>landedMy observations are that aircraft currently vacate the runway by first slowing to a certain speed then exiting at the next available exit. One way to improve it might be for each aircraft to calculate a somewhat realistic exit point and adjust their rate of deceleration so they just make that exit. Now, how many FPS are we willing to sacrifice to make this happen?>2. never make 180 turn on the active runwayI have not seen a landing aircraft make a 180 when it has an exit in front of it (can you cite a specific airport?). I do see departing aircraft backtaxi to the end of the runway before takeoff, but this is comon in the real world.>3. if you have spare taxiway in front of you - move forward to>the next hold-short pointThis movement to the next point could just as easily block the way of another aircraft, so this rule would not prevent gridlock on the ground (the sim does try to prevent taxiway gridlock now).>4. allow for occasional crossing of active runway - if you>don't do that an imbalance quickly arise between landing and>takeoff aircraft.Well, I'll agree here. We need to allow aircraft to cross active runways in between departures. *I* won't complain when this delays departures, but I'm sure someone will.>>...>6. implement a pseudo-Tracon facility that would at least>space aircraft 90 sec apart for landing. Perform S-turns,>control speed do holds to realize this separation. Every turn on an S-turn and every speed restriction and cancelation of restriction needs to be directed by ATC and read back by the pilot. Ever have a hard time getting in a word to ATC now? How much worse would it be this way?

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I don't dispute your observations but I doubt you put any stress on the system. I am talking about a custom airport like the new freeware Boston-Logan and running full AI which is close to real-life operation (off peak hours). If you run something like that for an hour or so then we can compare notes.Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpghttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg

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>Every turn on an S-turn and every speed restriction and>cancelation of restriction needs to be directed by ATC and>read back by the pilot. Ever have a hard time getting in a>word to ATC now? How much worse would it be this way?(sorry, overlooked this comment of yours - it is important so I am replying now)This can be easily solved, using many techniques. 1. When the system originally starts (your start the FS) there may be a period of adjustment when blobs of flights get seperated in the air - since this may be a highy unstable period all ATC AI communication could be suppressed until an 'equilibrium' is achieved.2. Even better - when system is orginally started the AI aircraft destined for some destinations could already be generated in the locations in space that assure separation. Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpghttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg

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>Thanks Tom. I should add that there have been Ai traffic>improvements in FS2004, that being the ability for touch &>go's at airportsFS2002 has touch & go's as well :)

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