This September we attended to the IEEE CIG 2017 Conference in Santorini, Greece, to present the paper “Evolutionary Deckbuilding in HearthStone”. This paper was written in collaboration with our colleagues Alberto Tonda and Giovanni Squillero.
The story of this paper started a (not so) long time ago while me and Alberto were discussing about how awesome HearthStone is. Suddenly, we thought about how easy it would be to create the constraints for the uGP framework, and that there were some open source simulators of the game. In a while, we already had the constraints, the simulator adapted to accept individuals from uGP, and some experiments running.
—One of the most notable features of collectible card games is deckbuilding, that is, defining a personalized deck before the real game. Deckbuilding is a challenge that involves a big and rugged search space, with different and unpredictable behaviour
after simple card changes and even hidden information. In this paper, we explore the possibility of automated deckbuilding: a genetic algorithm is applied to the task, with the evaluation delegated to a game simulator that tests every potential deck against a varied and representative range of human-made decks.
In these preliminary experiments, the approach has proven able to create quite effective decks, a promising result that proves that, even in this challenging environment, evolutionary algorithms can find good solutions.
This year we participated in the HUMIES awards with our paper “Towards Automatic StarCraft Strategy Generation Using Genetic Programming“, accepted at CIG2015, wrote in collaboration with Politecnico di Torino and INRA. Our paper was elected from 28 candidates to be part of the 8 finalists, so we can consider it a great achievement. Although we didn’t won, because the astounding quality of the other works, we are thrilled about our nomination :)
It was presented in poster form, and you had to be there to actually understand it. Since you are not, it’s better if you use this comments (or those at the poster) to inquire about it. Or you can check out the interactive presentation we also did, which in fact includes data and everything in the source.
This work is ongoing, and you are very welcome to participate. Just take a peek at the repo, and do a pull request.
I forgot to mention that we published our paper “Towards automatic StarCraft strategy generation using genetic programming” in CIG 2015 conference, held in Taiwan. This was a work made in collaboration with Alberto Tonda (INRA) and Giovanni Squillero (Politecnico di Torino), starting a new research line using this game (and also, starting other nice collaborations that are still a secret!)
Among Real-Time Strategy games few titles have enjoyed the continued success of StarCraft. Many research lines aimed at developing Artificial Intelligences, or “bots”, capable of challenging human players, use StarCraft as a platform. Several characteristics make this game particularly appealing for researchers, such as: asymmetric balanced factions, considerable complexity of the technology trees, large number of units with unique features, and potential for optimization both at the strategical and tactical level. In literature, various works exploit evolutionary computation to optimize particular aspects of the game, from squad formation to map exploration; but so far, no evolutionary approach has been applied to the development of a complete strategy from scratch. In this paper, we present the preliminary results of StarCraftGP, a framework able to evolve a complete strategy for StarCraft, from the building plan, to the composition of squads, up to the set of rules that define the bot’s behavior during the game. The proposed approach generates strategies as C++ classes, that are then compiled and executed inside the OpprimoBot open-source framework. In a first set of runs, we demonstrate that StarCraftGP ultimately generates a competitive strategy for a Zerg bot, able to defeat several human-designed bots.
UGR was one of the partners participating in this project. More concretely, GeNeura’s members have contributed by leading WP2 – MUSES framework definition and integration during the completion of tasks to define the MUSES System Architecture. In addition, GeNeura’s research has been applied to the project in WP5 – Self-adaptive event correlation, lead by a Spanish security company S2 Grupo. The main purpose of this WP was to develop a system which, on the one side, uses event correlation to detect Security Policy violations and, on the other side, performs an analysis of all the data in the system and creates new Security Policies or enhances the existing ones. Different types of classification, rule association, and clustering algorithms, as well as Data Mining techniques, have been applied with satisfactory results. These results were specially welcomed by the comission, ponting that such a system will be very helpful to enhance security. Also, MUSES is an Open Software project, and you can contribute at https://github.com/MusesProject
The results were presented by S2 Grupo and GeNeura together. The slides are now published on Slideshare:
It has been a pleasure for GeNeura to work in MUSES
This paper presents a hybrid algorithm that combines Fuzzy Logic Controller (FLC) and Genetic Algorithms (GAs) and its application on a traffic signal system. FLCs have been widely used in many applications in diverse areas, such as control system, pattern recognition, signal processing, and forecasting. They are, essentially, rule-based systems, in which the definition of these rules and fuzzy membership functions is generally based on verbally formulated rules that overlap through the parameter space. They have a great influence over the performance of the system. On the other hand, the Genetic Algorithm is a metaheuristic that provides a robust search in complex spaces. In this work, it has been used to adapt the decision rules of FLCs that define an intelligent traffic signal system, obtaining a higher performance than a classical FLC-based control. The simulation results yielded by the hybrid algorithm show an improvement of up to 34% in the performance with respect to a standard traffic signal controller, Conventional Traffic Signal Controller (CTC), and up to 31% in the comparison with a traditional logic controller, FLC.
Esperamos que os guste (y que lo citéis, claro :D).
In the last year, thanks to the Ms. Pac-Man vs Ghosts competition, the game of Ms. Pac-Man has gained increasing attention from academics in the field of Computational Intelligence. In this work, we contribute to this research stream by presenting a simple Genetic Algorithm with Lexicographic Ranking (GALR) for the optimization of Flocking Strategy-based ghost controllers. Flocking Strategies are a paradigm for intelligent agents characterized by showing emergent behavior and for having very little computational and memory requirements, making them well suited for commercial applications and mobile devices. In particular, we study empirically the effect of optimizing homogeneous and heterogeneous teams. The computational analysis shows that the Flocking Strategy-based controllers generated by the proposed GALR outperform the ghost controllers included in the competition framework and some of those presented in the literature.