Michael van Lent

Michael van Lent
Soar Technology, Inc.

About

55
Publications
13,608
Reads
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1,793
Citations
Citations since 2016
3 Research Items
558 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100
Additional affiliations
June 2001 - February 2008
University of Southern California
Position
  • Associate Director of Games Research

Publications

Publications (55)
Article
Planning and execution systems have been used in a wide variety of systems to create practical and successful automation. They have been used for everything from performing scientific research on the surface of Mars to controlling enemy characters in video games to performing military air campaign planning. After reviewing past work on these variou...
Article
Opponent behavior in today's computer games is often the result of a static set of Artificial Intelligence (AI) behaviors or a fixed AI script. While this ensures that the behavior is reasonably intelligent, it also results in very predictable behavior. This can have an impact on the replayability of entertainment-based games and the educational va...
Article
Culture and emotions have a profound impact on human behavior. Consequently, high-fidelity simulated interactive environments (e.g., trainers and computer games) that involve virtual humans must model socio-cultural and emotional effects on agent behavior. In this paper we discuss two recently fielded systems that do so independently: Culturally Af...
Article
Full-text available
This paper argues that integration is an essential approach to advancing the state of the art in cognitive systems. Integration is the path to aggregating requirements for cognition, as well as the solutions to those requirements. However, evaluation of integrated cognitive systems has proven difficult and expensive, which has hindered scientific a...
Article
Full-text available
This project describes a command and control system that combines key features of hierarchical command and control with the flexibility and adaptive response capabilities of information rich networks and adaptive human decision-making. 1. INTRODRUCTION This system focuses on maximizing situational awareness and the control of effects available to i...
Article
Increasingly popular for more than a decade, massively multiplayer online role-playing games now generate remarkable revenues. The current king of MMORPGs, World of Warcraft, boasts 10 million active subscribers as of early 2008. Developed by Blizzard, WoW hosts a virtual population larger than the real-world populations of countries such as Sweden...
Article
The days of physical entertainment media may well be numbered.
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Full-text available
Increasingly, the military has requirements for teaching cultural awareness, which demands flexible representations of cultural knowledge. The Culturally-Affected Behavior project seeks to define a language for encoding ethnographic data in order to capture cultural knowledge and use that knowledge to affect human behavior models. Having anthropolo...
Article
Videogames promote flash and features, but compelling gameplay wins the day.The major costs of developing and launching a videogame title involve artwork creation, programming, console fees, and marketing - not necessarily in that order.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Culture and emotions have a profound impact on human be- havior. Consequently, high-fidelity simulated interactive en- vironments (e.g., trainers and computer games) that involve virtual humans must model socio-cultural and emotional ef- fects on agent behavior. In this paper we discuss two recently fielded systems that do so independently: Cultura...
Article
Full-text available
Achieving increased player engagement involves adding deep emotional experiences to videogames. Games and simulations are already capable of gripping a player's emotions. From the earliest days of flight simulators, for example, professional pilots have frequently reported feeling stressed during simulated emergencies in a training simulator. Simil...
Article
Artificial intelligence has been a part of videogames since their early days. For game developers, Al has come to mean the broad range of techniques used to generate the behavior of these opponents, battlefield units, team mates, NPCs, or anything else that acts in the game with simulated intelligence. A few of these techniques, such as finite stat...
Conference Paper
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Few virtual environments are capable of supporting large numbers of autonomous agents (> 5000) with complex decision-making on a single machine. This demonstration depicts such an agent infrastructure set within a game-based virtual environment. The embodied agent framework consists of two primary components: a lower-level navigation layer consisti...
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Although the representation of physical environments and behaviors will continue to play an important role in simulation-based training, an emerging challenge is the representation of virtual humans with rich mental models (e.g., including emotions, trust) that interact through conversational as well as physical behaviors. The motivation for such s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Re∞ection is critically important for time-constrained train- ing simulations that do not permit extensive tutor-student interactions during an exercise. Here, we describe a re∞ective tutoring system for a virtual human simulation of negotiation. The tutor helps students review their exercise, elicits where and how they could have done better, and...
Article
Full-text available
The guest editor introduces this special issue on interactive narrative. The three theme articles present three approaches to resolving the conflict between story and interactivity.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Planning and execution systems have been used in a wide variety of systems to create practical and successful automation. They have been used for everything from performing scientific research on the surface of Mars to controlling enemy characters in video games to performing military air campaign planning. After reviewing past work on these variou...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As artificial intelligence (AI) systems and behavior models in military simulations become increasingly complex, it has been difficult for users to understand the activities of computer-controlled entities. Prototype ex- planation systems have been added to simulators, but designers have not heeded the lessons learned from work in explaining expert...
Article
Full-text available
This paper details the demonstration of an annotation and affordance-based software model intended to introduce cultural and social influences into a non-player character's (NPC) decision-making process. We describe how recent research has supported the need to begin incorporating the effects of culture into the interactive digital domain. The tech...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Opponent behavior in today's computer games is often the result of a static set of Artificial Intelligence (AI) behaviors or a fixed AI script. While this ensures that the behavior is reasonably intelligent, it also results in very predictable behavior. This can have an impact on the replayability of entertainment-based games and the educational va...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes an Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) tool that allows entities to answer questions about their activities within a tactical simulation. We show how XAI can be used to provide more meaningful after-action reviews and discuss ongoing work to integrate an intelligent tutor into the XAI framework.
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The new research area of explainable artificial in-telligence (XAI) allows users to question simulated entities whose motivations would otherwise be hid-den. Here, we focus on the knowledge representa-tion issues involved in building such systems.
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Human-behavior models (HBMs) and artificial intelligence systems are called on to fill a wide variety of roles in military simulations. Each of the "off the shelf" human behavior models available today focuses on a specific area of human cognition and behavior. While this makes these HBMs very effective in specific roles, none are single-handedly c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Simulation-based training is increasingly being used within the military to practice and develop the skills of successful soldiers. For the skills associated with successful military leadership, our inability to model human behavior to the necessary degree of fidelity in constructive simulations requires that new interactive designs be developed. T...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
As the artificial intelligence (AI) systems in military simulations and computer games become more complex, their actions become increasingly difficult for users to understand. Expert systems for medical diagnosis have addressed this challenge though the addition of explanation generation systems that explain a system's internal processes. This pap...
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Full-text available
Real Time Strategy (RTS) games present a wide range of AI challenges at the tactical and strategic level. Unfortunately, the lack of flexible "mod" interfaces to these games has made it difficult for AI researchers to explore these challenges in the context of RTS games. We are addressing this by building two AI interfaces into Full Spectrum Comman...
Article
This paper describes a method for building a cognitive map of a synthetic urban setting based on the realistic limits of human visual perception [1]. We based our implementation on a computational framework proposed by Yeap and Jeffries [2] that represents a local environment as a structure called an Absolute Space Representation (ASR). Building an...
Article
Computer games ideas, that influence the architecture of systems not developed directly for entertainment, are discussed. Game designers imagine what players will experience as they design the game, trying to deliver the most exciting and compelling experience possible. Game software operates in an artificial game world designed entirely by its dev...
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Full-text available
This report describes the effort to address the following research objective: "To begin to define, prototype, and demonstrate an interchange standard among Human Behavior Modeling (HEM) -related models in the Department of Defense (DoD), Industry, Academia, and other Government simulations by establishing a Laboratory for the Study of Human Behavio...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes a method for building a cognitive map of a virtual urban environment. Our routines enable virtual humans to map their environment using a realistic model of perception. We based our implementation on a computational framework proposed by Yeap and Jefferies (Yeap & Jefferies 1999) for representing a local environment as a struct...
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Full-text available
The research presented here describes a framework that provides the necessary infrastructure to learn procedural knowledge from observation traces annotated with goal transition information. One instance of a learning-by-observation system, called KnoMic (Knowledge Mimic), is developed within this framework and evaluated in a complex domain. This e...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The IntelliShopper is a shopping assistant designed to empower consumers. It is a personal assistant in that it observes the users while shopping and learns their preferences with respect to various features that characterize shopping items. It is proactive ...
Article
Full-text available
Although one of the fundamental goals of AI is to understand and develop intelligent systems that have all of the capabilities of humans, there is little active research directly pursuing that goal. We propose that AI for interactive computer games is an emerging application area in which this goal of human-level AI can successfully be pursued. Int...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Abstract Although,one ,of the ,fundamental ,goals ,of AI ,is to understand and develop intelligent systems that have all of the capabilities of humans, there is little active research directly pursuing ,that goal. We propose ,that AI for interactive computer,games is an emerging,application area inwhich,this goal of human-level ,AI can successfully...
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Developing automated agents that intelligently perform complex real world tasks is time consuming and expensive. The most expensive part of developing these intelligent task performance agents involves extracting knowledge from human experts and encoding it into a form useable by automated agents. Machine learning from a sufficiently rich and focus...
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Full-text available
by making the agents in games more intelligent. If done correctly, playing with or against these AI agents will more closely capture the challenge of playing online against other people. A flexible AI architecture, such as Soar, will also make the development of intelligent agents for games easier by providing a common inference engine and reusable...
Article
Games with imperfect information are an interesting and important class of games. They include most card games (e.g., bridge and poker), as well as many economic and political models. Here, we investigate algorithms for solving imperfect information games expressed in their extensive (game-tree) form. In particular, we consider algorithms for the s...
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Full-text available
TacAir-Soar is a reactive system that uses recognition-driven problem solving to plan and generate behavior in the domain of tactical air combat simulation. Our current research efforts focus on integrating more deliberative planning and learning mechanisms into the system. This paper discusses characteristics of the domain that influence potential...
Conference Paper
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Constructive induction techniques use constructors to combine existing features into new features. Usually the goal is to improve the accuracy and/or efficiency of classification. An alternate use of new features is to create representations which allow planning in more efficient state spaces. An inefficient state space may be too fine grained, req...
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Testing and knowledge acquisition have been two of the most tedious and time consuming tasks in the development of IFOR agents in the TacAir-Soar (TAS) project. This paper presents some suggestions for a human control tool, similar to a simple simulator, that can be helpful in these two areas. Furthermore, we discuss some of the design consideratio...
Article
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IMP-minimax is the analog to minimax for games with imperfect information, like card games such as bridge or poker. It computes an optimal strategy for the game if the game has a single player and a certain natural property called perfect recall. IMP-minimax is described fully in a companion paper in this proceedings. Here we introduce an algorithm...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes a method for building a cognitive map of a virtual urban environment. Our routines enable virtual humans to map their environment using a realistic model of perception. We based our implementation on a computational framework proposed by Yeap and Jefferies (Yeap & Jefferies 1999) for representing a local environment as a struct...
Article
Full-text available
As computer games become more complex and consumers demand more sophisticated computer controlled agents, developers are required to place a greater emphasis on the artificial intelligence aspects of their games. One source of sophisticated AI techniques is the artificial intelligence research community. This paper discusses recent efforts by our g...
Article
Full-text available
Most commercial games on the market today embed into their game maps a great deal of information. Almost all of this information is precomputed and/or manual entered by the game developers. These static map annotations don't and can't take into account the many dynamic factors that can influence path planning and terrain analysis. In some cases gam...
Article
Thesis (B.A.)--Williams College, Dept. of Computer Science, 1991. Includes bibliographical references ([75]-[78]).

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Projects

Projects (2)
Archived project
Develop AI agents for Computer Games.
Project
Goals include developing robotic intelligence that frees humans from being tethered to a robot and makes the robot a true teammate instead of a piece of equipment; applying AI techniques and cognitive science towards automating cyberspace operations, command and control, and training; building intelligent software to mimic this process, thereby enhancing a human’s decision making; and developing intelligent behavior models to support simulation based and immersive training applications.