Ph.D. Students Kartal and Sohre and Professor Guy Receive Best Paper Award at AIIDE

November 7, 2016

Ph.D. students Bilal Kartal and Nick Sohre, along with Professor Stephen Guy, received the best paper award at the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE 2016) for their paper “Data-Driven Sokoban Puzzle Generation with Monte Carlo Tree Search.”

Their paper proposes a way to automatically generate puzzles with a goal of reducing bottlenecks in design and helping to keep games new, varied, and exciting. Their method also allows for custom tailoring of game experiences to reach wider audiences.

Their research focuses on Sokoban puzzles, which are a popular form of video game involving organizing boxes by pushing them with a player-controlled agent on a grid board. In order to address the needs of users playing Sokoban games, they had to address several key challenges inherent in the field of puzzle generation, including speed of the system, support of on-demand puzzle generation, and production of a variety of puzzles.

The results of their pioneering would could lead to limiting the need for human input in generating puzzles, while still producing puzzle levels that are varying degrees of difficulty that are guaranteed to be solvable.

The conference was held near San Francisco and is considered the definitive point of interaction between entertainment software developers interested in AI and academic and industrial AI researchers.

Congratulations to Bilal Kartal, Nick Sohre, and Professor Guy on this award.

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