The term steering behaviors refers to a set of algorithms that allows objects to move around in a seemingly intelligent manner. These behaviors, which fall under the headings of artificial intelligence and artificial life, enable characters to seemingly take on a life of their own—deciding where, when, and how to move in order to achieve goals, chase or run from other characters, avoid obstacles, follow paths, and so on.

The term was coined by Craig Reynolds in a paper titled "Steering Behaviors for Autonomous Characters," published in 1999 for the Game Developers' Conference. It describes a number of algorithms that create a system of forces that are applied to characters used in games and simulations. These forces ...

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