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High-Level Representations for Game-Tree Search in RTS Games

AAAI Conferences

From an AI point of view, Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games are hard because they have enormous state spaces, they are real-time and partially observable. In this paper, we explore an approach to deploy game-tree search in RTS games by using game state abstraction, and explore the effect of using different abstractions over the game state. Different abstractions capture different parts of the game state, and result in different branching factors when used for game-tree search algorithms. We evaluate the different representations using Monte Carlo Tree Search in the context of StarCraft.


Improving Terrain Analysis and Applications to RTS Game AI

AAAI Conferences

This paper presents a new terrain analysis algorithm for RTS games. The proposed algorithms significantly improves the analysis time of the state of the art via contour tracing, and also offers better chokepoint detection. We demonstrate that our approach (BWTA2) is at least 10 times faster than the commonly used BWTA in a collection of StarCraft maps. Additionally, we show the usefulness of terrain analysis in tasks such as pathfinding and discuss potential applications to strategic decision making tasks.


Game-Tree Search over High-Level Game States in RTS Games

AAAI Conferences

From an AI point of view, Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games are hard because they have enormous state spaces, they are real-time and partially observable. In this paper, we present an approach to deploy game-tree search in RTS games by using game state abstraction. We propose a high-level abstract representation of the game state, that significantly reduces the branching factor when used for game-tree search algorithms. Using this high-level representation, we evaluate versions of alpha-beta search and of Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS). We present experiments in the context of StarCraft showing promising results in dealing with the large branching factors present in RTS games.


Building Placement Optimization in Real-Time Strategy Games

AAAI Conferences

In this paper we propose using a Genetic Algorithm to optimize the placement of buildings in Real-Time Strategy games. Candidate solutions are evaluated by running base assault simulations. We present experimental results in SparCraft — a StarCraft combat simulator --- using battle setups extracted from human and bot StarCraft games. We show that our system is able to turn base assaults that are losses for the defenders into wins, as well as reduce the number of surviving attackers. Performance is heavily dependent on the quality of the prediction of the attacker army composition used for training, and its similarity to the army used for evaluation. These results apply to both human and bot games.


A Benchmark for StarCraft Intelligent Agents

AAAI Conferences

The problem of comparing the performance of different Real-Time Strategy (RTS) Intelligent Agents (IA) is non-trivial. And often different research groups employ different testing methodologies designed to test specific aspects of the agents. However, the lack of a standard process to evaluate and compare different methods in the same context makes progress assessment difficult. In order to address this problem, this paper presents a set of benchmark scenarios and metrics aimed at evaluating the performance of different techniques or agents for the RTS game StarCraft. We used these scenarios to compare the performance of a collection of bots participating in recent StarCraft AI (Artificial Intelligence) competitions to illustrate the usefulness of our proposed benchmarks.