Generalized Experience Management Open Access
- Other title
Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment
- Type of item
- Degree grantor
University of Alberta
- Author or creator
Thue, David J
- Supervisor and department
Bulitko, Vadim (Computing Science)
- Examining committee member and department
Schaeffer, Jonathan (Computing Science)
Zaiane, Osmar (Computing Science)
Bulitko, Vadim (Computing Science)
Jhala, Arnav (University of California Santa Cruz)
Szafron, Duane (Computing Science)
Spetch, Marcia (Psychology)
Department of Computing Science
- Date accepted
- Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
- Degree level
Computer-based interactive environments present a compelling platform for research in Artificial Intelligence. Using games as its domains, this work has traditionally focused on building AI agents that can play games well (e.g., Checkers, Go, or StarCraft). In more recent years, a parallel line of research has aimed to achieve a different goal: to mimic the abilities of human game designers, extending their reach into the run time of the game. By building an AI agent to gather new information and make decisions as their proxy, designers can ensure that their goals are pursued in a way that adapts to each player automatically, while the game is underway.
In this dissertation, I present the Generalized Experience Management (GEM) framework, the first mathematical formalization of modifying the dynamics of an interactive environment during end-user play. Moving beyond traditional, ad hoc methods for creating AI agents that manage player experiences, GEM is grounded in the theory of Markov Decision Processes while still remaining practically applicable in both industry and academia. To evaluate the framework and demonstrate its versatility, I present four adaptive systems as instances thereof: two that I designed and tested through controlled user studies, one that was created independently in a commercial video game, and one that was seminal in the domain of Interactive Drama. Finally, I propose and demonstrate a detailed method for evaluating GEM systems, including a new way to distinguish between the effects of player-specific and player-independent adaptation.
- Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
- Citation for previous publication
David Thue, Vadim Bulitko, and Marcia Spetch. Making stories player-specific: Delayed authoring in interactive storytelling. In The First Joint International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS), pages 230–241, Erfurt, Germany, 2008. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg.David Thue, Vadim Bulitko, and Marcia Spetch. PaSSAGE: A demonstration of player modelling in interactive storytelling. In Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE), pages 227–228. Palo Alto, California, 2008. AAAI Press.David Thue, Vadim Bulitko, Marcia Spetch, and Michael Webb. Exaggerated claims for interactive stories. In The Second Joint International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS), pages 179–184, Guimara ̃es, Portugal, 2009. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg.David Thue, Vadim Bulitko, Marcia Spetch, and Trevon Romanuik. Player agency and the relevance of decisions. In The Third Joint International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (ICIDS), pages 210–215, Edinburgh, Scotland, 2010. Springer Verlag.David Thue, Vadim Bulitko, Marcia Spetch, and Michael Webb. Socially consistent characters in player-specific stories. In Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE), pages 198–203, Palo Alto, California, 2010. AAAI Press.David Thue, Vadim Bulitko, Marcia Spetch, and Trevon Romanuik. A computational model of perceived agency in video games. In Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE), pages 91–96, Palo Alto, California, USA, 2011. AAAI Press.David Thue and Vadim Bulitko. Procedural game adaptation: Framing experience management as changing an MDP. In Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies, pages 44–50, Palo Alto, California, 2012. AAAI Press.David Thue, Vadim Bulitko, and Howard J. Hamilton. Implementation cost and efficiency for AI experience managers. In Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies, pages 97–100, Boston, Massachusetts, 2013. AAAI Press.
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