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A Fast Impulsive Contact Suite for Rigid Body Simulation
March/April 2004 (vol. 10 no. 2)
pp. 189-197

Abstract—A suite of algorithms is presented for contact resolution in rigid body simulation under the Coulomb friction model: Given a set of rigid bodies with many contacts among them, resolve dynamic contacts (collisions) and static (persistent) contacts. The suite consists of four algorithms: 1) partial sequential collision resolution, 2) final resolution of collisions through the solution of a single convex QP (positive semidefinite quadratic program), 3) resolution of static contacts through the solution of a single convex QP, 4) freezing of "stationary” bodies. This suite can generate realistic-looking results for simple examples yet, for the first time, can also tractably resolve contacts for a simulation as large as 1,000 cubes in an "hourglass.” Freezing speeds up this simulation by more than 25 times. Thanks to excellent commercial QP technology, the contact resolution suite is simple to implement and can be "plugged into” any simulation algorithm to provide fast and realistic-looking animations of rigid bodies.

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Index Terms:
Quadratic programming, computer graphics, physically-based modeling, simulation, animation.
Citation:
Harald Schmidl, Victor J. Milenkovic, "A Fast Impulsive Contact Suite for Rigid Body Simulation," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 189-197, March-April 2004, doi:10.1109/TVCG.2004.1260770
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