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There are currently a number of animation researchers that focus on simulating virtual crowds, but few are attempting to simulate virtual populations. Virtual crowd simulations tend to depict a large number of agents walking from one location to another as realistically as possible. The virtual humans in these crowds lack higher purpose. They have a virtual existence, but not a virtual life and as such do not reasonably depict a human population. In this paper, the authors present an agent-based simulation framework for creating virtual populations endowed with social roles. These roles help establish reasons for the existence of each of the virtual humans. They can be used to create a virtual population embodied with purpose.
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