An Analysis of Model-Based Heuristic Search Techniques for StarCraft Combat Scenarios

Churchill, David (Memorial University) | Lin, Zeming (Facebook AI Research) | Synnaeve, Gabriel (Facebook AI Research)

AAAI Conferences 

Real-Time Strategy games have become a popular test-bed for modern AI system due to their real-time computational constraints, complex multi-unit control problems, and imperfect information. One of the most important aspects of any RTS AI system is the efficient control of units in complex combat scenarios, also known as micromanagement. Recently, a model-based heuristic search technique called Portfolio Greedy Search (PGS) has shown promisingpaper we present the first integration of PGS into the StarCraft game engine, and compare its performance to the current state-of-the-art deep reinforcement learning method in several benchmark combat scenarios. We then perform theperformance for providing real-time decision making in RTS combat scenarios, but has so far only been tested in SparCraft: an RTS combat simulator. In this same experiments within the SparCraft simulator in order to investigate any differences between PGS performance in the simulator and in the actual game. Lastly, we investigate how varying parameters of the SparCraft simulator affect the performance of PGS in the StarCraft game engine. We demonstrate that the performance of PGS relies heavily on the accuracy of the underlying model, outperforming other techniques only for scenarios where the SparCraft simulation model more accurately matches the StarCraft game engine.