StarCraft as a testbed for engineering complex distributed systems using cognitive agent technology

Vincent J. Koeman, Harm J. Griffioen, Danny C. Plenge, Koen V. Hindriks

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Abstract

It has been argued that the evaluation of cognitive agent systems requires richer benchmark problems. We think that real-time strategy (RTS) games can offer such a testbed, as AI for RTS requires the design of complicated strategies for coordinating hundreds of units that need to solve a range of challenges. Therefore, in this paper, we report on the design and development of the first multi-agent connector that provides full access to StarCraft (Brood War). We provide a new interface that is dedicated to a multi-agent approach by connecting each unit in the game to a cognitive agent. Two main challenges are addressed in this work. First, we decide on the right level of abstraction for unit control by means of agents, designing for instance the percepts that are available to units. Second, a sufficient level of performance needs to be ensured in order to allow a large variety of multi-agent implementations to be successful at tackling challenges of RTS AI. The resulting open-source connector readily supports the hundreds of agents that can come and go during the game. Based on the development of the connector and its initial use by over 200 students, we gained valuable insights.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication17th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2018
PublisherInternational Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (IFAAMAS)
Pages1983-1985
Number of pages3
Volume3
ISBN (Print)9781510868083
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event17th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2018 - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 10 Jul 201815 Jul 2018

Conference

Conference17th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2018
CountrySweden
CityStockholm
Period10/07/1815/07/18

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  • Cite this

    Koeman, V. J., Griffioen, H. J., Plenge, D. C., & Hindriks, K. V. (2018). StarCraft as a testbed for engineering complex distributed systems using cognitive agent technology. In 17th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, AAMAS 2018 (Vol. 3, pp. 1983-1985). International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (IFAAMAS).