University of Twente Student Theses


A virtual billiard assistant

Balen, J. van (2009) A virtual billiard assistant.

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Abstract:This thesis describes the development of a virtual billiard assistant (VBA), that should ultimately be able to replace a qualified human trainer. The scope of the project is the tactical part of three cushion billiards, where players have to solve a ball configuration, and play it accordingly, in order to score a point. The VBA proposed in this thesis has two main tasks: 1. Find a best solution for any possible ball configuration 2. Present this solution to the user A solution is considered best when a human trainer would recommend the same solution in the same situation. When a user is exercising, it can ask the VBA to solve a ball configuration whenever he desires. The ball configuration is retrieved using a webcam and image processing techniques, and presented to the VBA. The VBA then systematically tries out a vast amount of shot parameter combinations, and detects which are successful. To achieve this it makes use of a physical model, which is implemented in such a way that it can accurately simulate a great amount of shots in limited time. This will typically result in a set of solutions, which are first clustered and then sorted. The top solution of this sorted set should be the same solution as a human expert trainer would recommend. The resulting solutions are presented to the user via a computer screen, using a 3d model of a billiards table, with a white line indicating the path along which the cue ball should travel. It is shown that the system is accurate, and reasonably fast. Feasible solutions are found for almost all possible ball configurations. The method of interaction enables the user to move freely, and use the system as he or she desires. A user test was performed, indicating that the developed VBA is trusted by users, and would be a welcome innovation in billiards training
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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