2D Simulation League
In the 2D Simulation League, two teams of eleven autonomous software programs (called agents) each play soccer in a two-dimensional virtual soccer stadium represented by a central server, called SoccerServer. This server knows everything about the game, i.e. the current position of all players and the ball, the physics and so on. The game further relies on the communication between the server and each agent. On the one hand each player receives relative and noisy input of his virtual sensors (visual, acoustic and physical) and may on the other hand perform some basic commands (like dashing, turning or kicking) in order to influence its environment.
The big challenge in the Simulation League is to conclude from all possible world states (derived from the sensor input by calculating a sight on the world as absolute and noise-free as possible) to the best possible action to execute. As a game is divided into 6000 cycles this task has to be accomplished in time slot of 100 ms (the length of each cycle). Further information and the SoccerServer software can be accessed via http://sserver.wiki.sourceforge.net
3D Simulation League
The 3D simulation competition increases the realism of the simulated environment used in other simulation leagues by adding an extra dimension and more complex physics. At its beginning, the only available robot model was a spherical agent. In 2006, a simple model of the Fujitsu HOAP-2 robot was made available, being the first time that humanoid models were used in the simulation league. This shifted the aim of the 3D simulation competition from the design of strategic behaviors of in playing soccer towards the low level control of humanoid robots and the creation of basic behaviors like walking, kicking, turning and standing up, among others.
In 2008, the introduction of a Nao robot model to the simulation gave another perspective to the league. The real Nao robot from Aldebaran robotics has been the official robot for the Standard Platform League since 2008, and using the same model for the simulation competitions represents a great opportunity for researchers wanting to test their algorithms and ideas before trying them into the real robots. The interest in the 3D simulation competition is growing fast and research is slowly getting back to the design and implementation of multi-agent higher-level behaviors based on solid low level behavior architectures for realistic humanoid robot teams. Further information and the SimSpark server software can be accessed via http://simspark.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page.
In consecutive years, the number of robots was increased continuouslly and reached 11 vs 11 in 2012. 2013 saw the first competition in which teams were able to use heterogenous robot types, i.e. variations of the standard Nao robot. Also a first drop in player challenge showed the performance of the teams when playing with unknown teammates of other teams. For 2014 the league has committed itself to run a first running robot challenge. The goal is to lead other leagues the way on which hardware is required to have robots that are able to run.