Archive for July, 2010

MMPM: A Generic Platform for Case-Based Planning Research

Computer games are excellent domains for research and evaluation of AI and CBR techniques. The main drawback is the effort needed to connect AI systems to existing games. This paper presents MMPM, a middleware platform that supports easy connection of AI techniques with games. We will describe the MMPM architecture, and compare with related systems such as TIELT.

Read the paper:

MMPM: A Generic Platform for Case-Based Planning Research

by Pedro Pablo Gómez-Martín, David Llansó, Marco Antonio Gómez-Martín, Santiago Ontañón, Ashwin Ram

ICCBR-2010 Workshop on Case-Based Reasoning for Computer Games

Real-Time Case-Based Reasoning for Interactive Digital Entertainment

(Click image to view the video – it’s near the bottom of the new page.)

User-generated content is everywhere: photos, videos, news, blogs, art, music, and every other type of digital media on the Social Web. Games are no exception. From strategy games to immersive virtual worlds, game players are increasingly engaged in creating and sharing nearly all aspects of the gaming experience: maps, quests, artifacts, avatars, clothing, even games themselves. Yet, there is one aspect of computer games that is not created and shared by game players: the AI. Building sophisticated personalities, behaviors, and strategies requires expertise in both AI and programming, and remains outside the purview of the end user.

To understand why authoring Game AI is hard, we need to understand how it works. AI can take digital entertainment beyond scripted interactions into the arena of truly interactive systems that are responsive, adaptive, and intelligent. I will discuss examples of AI techniques for character-level AI (in embedded NPCs, for example) and game-level AI (in the drama manager, for example). These types of AI enhance the player experience in different ways. The techniques are complicated and are usually implemented by expert game designers.

I propose an alternative approach to designing Game AI: Real-Time CBR. This approach extends CBR to real-time systems that operate asynchronously during game play, planning, adapting, and learning in an online manner. Originally developed for robotic control, Real-Time CBR can be used for interactive games ranging from multiplayer strategy games to interactive believable avatars in virtual worlds.

As with any CBR technique, Real-Time CBR integrates problem solving with learning. This property can be used to address the authoring problem. I will show the first Web 2.0 application that allows average users to create AIs and challenge their friends to play them—without programming. I conclude with some thoughts about the role of CBR in AI-based Interactive Digital Entertainment.

Keynote talk at the Eighteenth Conference on Pattern Recognition and Artificial Intelligence (RFIA-12), Lyon, France, February 5, 2012.
Slides and video here:
Keynote talk at the Eleventh Scandinavian Conference on Artificial Intelligence (SCAI-11), Trondheim, Norway, May 25, 2011.
Keynote talk at the 2010 International Conference on Case-Based Reasoning (ICCBR-10), Alessandria, Italy, July 22, 2010.
GVU Brown Bag talk, October 14, 2010. Watch the talk here: 
Try it yourself:
Learn more about the algorithms:
View the talk:

View the slides:

Meta-Level Behavior Adaptation in Real-Time Strategy Games

AI agents designed for real-time settings need to adapt themselves to changing circumstances to improve their performance and remedy their faults. Agents typically designed for computer games, however, lack this ability. The lack of adaptivity causes a break in player experience when they repeatedly fail to behave properly in circumstances unforeseen by the game designers.

We present an AI technique for game-playing agents that helps them adapt to changing game circumstances. The agents carry out runtime adaptation of their behavior sets by monitoring and reasoning about their behavior execution and using this reasoning to dynamically revise their behaviors. The evaluation of the behavior adaptation approach in a complex real-time strategy game shows that the agents adapt themselves and improve their performance by revising their behavior sets appropriately.

Read the paper:

Meta-Level Behavior Adaptation in Real-Time Strategy Games

by Manish Mehta, Santi Ontañon, Ashwin Ram

ICCBR-10 Workshop on Case-Based Reasoning for Computer Games, Alessandria, Italy, 2010.

Conversational Framework for Web Search and Recommendations

We introduce a Conversational Interaction framework as an innovative and natural approach to facilitate easier information access by combining web search and recommendations. This framework includes an intelligent information agent (Cobot) in the conversation to provide contextually relevant social and web search recommendations. Cobot supports the information discovery process by integrating web information retrieval along with proactive connections to relevant users who can participate in real-time conversations. We describe the conversational framework and report on some preliminary experiments in the system.

Read the paper:

Conversational Framework for Web Search and Recommendations

by Saurav Sahay, Ashwin Ram

ICCBR-10 Workshop on Reasoning from Experiences on the Web (WebCBR-10), Alessandria, Italy, 2010.