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Games: Overviews


AI in Games: Techniques, Challenges and Opportunities

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

With breakthrough of AlphaGo, AI in human-computer game has become a very hot topic attracting researchers all around the world, which usually serves as an effective standard for testing artificial intelligence. Various game AI systems (AIs) have been developed such as Libratus, OpenAI Five and AlphaStar, beating professional human players. In this paper, we survey recent successful game AIs, covering board game AIs, card game AIs, first-person shooting game AIs and real time strategy game AIs. Through this survey, we 1) compare the main difficulties among different kinds of games for the intelligent decision making field ; 2) illustrate the mainstream frameworks and techniques for developing professional level AIs; 3) raise the challenges or drawbacks in the current AIs for intelligent decision making; and 4) try to propose future trends in the games and intelligent decision making techniques. Finally, we hope this brief review can provide an introduction for beginners, inspire insights for researchers in the filed of AI in games.


General Board Game Concepts

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Many games often share common ideas or aspects between them, such as their rules, controls, or playing area. However, in the context of General Game Playing (GGP) for board games, this area remains under-explored. We propose to formalise the notion of "game concept", inspired by terms generally used by game players and designers. Through the Ludii General Game System, we describe concepts for several levels of abstraction, such as the game itself, the moves played, or the states reached. This new GGP feature associated with the ludeme representation of games opens many new lines of research. The creation of a hyper-agent selector, the transfer of AI learning between games, or explaining AI techniques using game terms, can all be facilitated by the use of game concepts. Other applications which can benefit from game concepts are also discussed, such as the generation of plausible reconstructed rules for incomplete ancient games, or the implementation of a board game recommender system.


10 Years of the PCG workshop: Past and Future Trends

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In the decade since the first PCG workshop, research in artificial intelligence (AI) for generating game content has bloomed. PCG As of 2020, the international workshop on Procedural Content Generation research of all types has been accepted in high-tier conferences enters its second decade. The annual workshop, hosted by and journals, and three special issues on topics directly relevant the international conference on the Foundations of Digital Games, to PCG [10, 53, 99] were published in the IEEE Transactions on has collected a corpus of 95 papers published in its first 10 years. Games (and the preceding IEEE Transactions on Computational This paper provides an overview of the workshop's activities and Intelligence and AI in Games). A textbook on Procedural Content surveys the prevalent research topics emerging over the years.


Monte Carlo Tree Search: A Review of Recent Modifications and Applications

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS) is a decision-making algorithm that consists in searching large combinatorial spaces represented by trees. In such trees, nodes denote states, also referred to as configurations of the problem, whereas edges denote transitions (actions) from one state to another. MCTS has been originally proposed in the work by Kocsis and Szepesvári (2006) and by Coulom (2006), as an algorithm for making computer players in Go. It was quickly called a major breakthrough (Gelly et al., 2012) as it allowed for a leap from 14 kyu, which is an average amateur level, to 5 dan, which is considered an advanced level but not professional yet. Before MCTS, bots for combinatorial games had been using various modifications of the min-max alpha-beta pruning algorithm (Junghanns, 1998) such as MTD(f) (Plaat, 2014) and hand-crafted heuristics. In contrast to them, MCTS algorithm is at its core aheuristic, which means that no additional knowledge is required other than just rules of a game (or a problem, generally speaking). However, it is possible to take advantage of heuristics and include them in the MCTS approach to make it more efficient and improve its convergence. Moreover, the given problem often tends to be so complex, from the combinatorial point of view, that some form of external help, e.g.


AI and Wargaming

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Recent progress in Game AI has demonstrated that given enough data from human gameplay, or experience gained via simulations, machines can rival or surpass the most skilled human players in classic games such as Go, or commercial computer games such as Starcraft. We review the current state-of-the-art through the lens of wargaming, and ask firstly what features of wargames distinguish them from the usual AI testbeds, and secondly which recent AI advances are best suited to address these wargame-specific features.


Learning to Play No-Press Diplomacy with Best Response Policy Iteration

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Recent advances in deep reinforcement learning (RL) have led to considerable progress in many 2-player zero-sum games, such as Go, Poker and Starcraft. The purely adversarial nature of such games allows for conceptually simple and principled application of RL methods. However real-world settings are many-agent, and agent interactions are complex mixtures of common-interest and competitive aspects. We consider Diplomacy, a 7-player board game designed to accentuate dilemmas resulting from many-agent interactions. It also features a large combinatorial action space and simultaneous moves, which are challenging for RL algorithms. We propose a simple yet effective approximate best response operator, designed to handle large combinatorial action spaces and simultaneous moves. We also introduce a family of policy iteration methods that approximate fictitious play. With these methods, we successfully apply RL to Diplomacy: we show that our agents convincingly outperform the previous state-of-the-art, and game theoretic equilibrium analysis shows that the new process yields consistent improvements.


From Chess and Atari to StarCraft and Beyond: How Game AI is Driving the World of AI

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This paper reviews the field of Game AI, which not only deals with creating agents that can play a certain game, but also with areas as diverse as creating game content automatically, game analytics, or player modelling. While Game AI was for a long time not very well recognized by the larger scientific community, it has established itself as a research area for developing and testing the most advanced forms of AI algorithms and articles covering advances in mastering video games such as StarCraft 2 and Quake III appear in the most prestigious journals. Because of the growth of the field, a single review cannot cover it completely. Therefore, we put a focus on important recent developments, including that advances in Game AI are starting to be extended to areas outside of games, such as robotics or the synthesis of chemicals. In this article, we review the algorithms and methods that have paved the way for these breakthroughs, report on the other important areas of Game AI research, and also point out exciting directions for the future of Game AI.


On the Measure of Intelligence

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

To make deliberate progress towards more intelligent and more human-like artificial systems, we need to be following an appropriate feedback signal: we need to be able to define and evaluate intelligence in a way that enables comparisons between two systems, as well as comparisons with humans. Over the past hundred years, there has been an abundance of attempts to define and measure intelligence, across both the fields of psychology and AI. We summarize and critically assess these definitions and evaluation approaches, while making apparent the two historical conceptions of intelligence that have implicitly guided them. We note that in practice, the contemporary AI community still gravitates towards benchmarking intelligence by comparing the skill exhibited by AIs and humans at specific tasks such as board games and video games. We argue that solely measuring skill at any given task falls short of measuring intelligence, because skill is heavily modulated by prior knowledge and experience: unlimited priors or unlimited training data allow experimenters to "buy" arbitrary levels of skills for a system, in a way that masks the system's own generalization power. We then articulate a new formal definition of intelligence based on Algorithmic Information Theory, describing intelligence as skill-acquisition efficiency and highlighting the concepts of scope, generalization difficulty, priors, and experience. Using this definition, we propose a set of guidelines for what a general AI benchmark should look like. Finally, we present a benchmark closely following these guidelines, the Abstraction and Reasoning Corpus (ARC), built upon an explicit set of priors designed to be as close as possible to innate human priors. We argue that ARC can be used to measure a human-like form of general fluid intelligence and that it enables fair general intelligence comparisons between AI systems and humans.


MOBAs and the Future of AI Research

#artificialintelligence

In previous articles, I've looked at a variety of video games that have proven useful test-beds for AI research, with the likes of Ms. Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros. and more recently StarCraft. But in this instance I want to look at a genre that is still relatively new whilst presenting exciting opportunities for AI research: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena's (MOBA). The MOBA genre is undoubtedly one of the most popular in gaming today, but what impact could this have upon AI research? I'm going to provide an overview of MOBA's as a genre, what aspects of their design can prove interesting to AI research and look at some projects that are now bearing fruit both in academia and in corporate research labs. Multiplayer Online Battle Arena's are an offshoot of Real-time Strategy (RTS) games, originating with the Aeon of Strife map for Blizzards StarCraft, followed by the'Defence of the Ancients' mod for WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion The Frozen Throne.


Monte-Carlo Tree Search for Simulation-based Strategy Analysis

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Games are often designed to shape player behavior in a desired way; however, it can be unclear how design decisions affect the space of behaviors in a game. Designers usually explore this space through human playtesting, which can be time-consuming and of limited effectiveness in exhausting the space of possible behaviors. In this paper, we propose the use of automated planning agents to simulate humans of varying skill levels to generate game playthroughs. Metrics can then be gathered from these playthroughs to evaluate the current game design and identify its potential flaws. We demonstrate this technique in two games: the popular word game Scrabble and a collectible card game of our own design named Cardonomicon. Using these case studies, we show how using simulated agents to model humans of varying skill levels allows us to extract metrics to describe game balance (in the case of Scrabble) and highlight potential design flaws (in the case of Cardonomicon).