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Prozak

Emergent Intelligence

73 posts in this topic

Wow. About 1/2 of the replies have been about two people bickering back and forth at each other. While you certainly should defend yourself when someone attacks you, should it really come down to pouring over the minutia of each others posts so you can pick them apart?

Please, take it up in private because it's not doing a damn bit of good for the original poster and it's certainly not adding anything to the discussion.

Can't we all just get along? :)


-Jojo


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Original post by thedevdan
Timkin, you are the one coming across as insulting, not InnocuousFox.


That's not my intention. If my posts have offended you, then you have my apologies.

Quote:
Original post by thedevdan
Now, you agree that with EB, each of the "critters" is obvlivious to what is happening. All they know about is their own simple rules.

No, I don't agree with this. Please don't stipulate that I do. In the hive discussions we've been having, each of the creatures is an agent; they act based on their drives, beliefs (be they hard-wired or learned) and their observations of the environment. The *know* about the states of other agents around them. They *know* about the state of their environment. They choose actions based on their beliefs and observations to satiate their drives. There is nothing accidental about this. The results of such individual behaviours and the explicit interactions of agents within the system are NOT coincidental.

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Original post by thedevdan
Here is Marriam-Webster's definition of coincidence:
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the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection; also : any of these occurrences



Your mistake here is to continue to insist that such events occur by accident. There is no accident here. There is only sub-unit level properties interacting via that laws of the universe. One does NOT need to rely on stochastics to postulate EB. There are many deterministic systems that display EB. There is nothing accidental about a deterministic system.

Let's move away from agents for a moment and consider something else. How about a mass suspended on a spring that is perturbed from equilibrium. The mass oscillates in space. An emergent behaviour of this system is the space-time curve produced by the mass; it's a sinusoid. This curve is not explicitly coded into the system. It arises because of the properties of springs. It would not arise by accident in any way. It arises *exactly* because of the properties of the sping and the perturbation. The only way to produce it is to perturb the system from equilibrium.


[quote]Original post by thedevdan
From the standpoint of the critters, it's truly a coincidence how everything is occuring.
[quote]
Again, this is wrong. Each critter plays its own part in the EB, even though it doesn't *know* it is. It certainly *knows* about its own state, observations and actions. So, it my be okay to say that from the standpoint of an individual agent the specific EB is a coincidence, because that agent didn't plan on it, but it is certainly NOT okay to say so from the system perspective or the observers perspective. Just because the agent doesn't understand how the EB occured, doesn't mean that the EB was a coincidence.

Every time the word coincidence has been used in this thread by my opponents it has been in terms of the system analysis or the observers analysis of the system. We're talking about system level analysis here. Please don't confuse the issue any more.

Quote:
Original post by thedevdan
from the standpoint of the maker of the system, it's not a coincidence, because the behavior of the system is (roughly) intended.


We don't need to postulate a God (of any kind) to discuss EB or determine how it arises. There is certainly no intention in the spring to produce the sinusoid, any more than there is intention in the two points in a plane producing a Euclidean distance between them. As to intention in hives, that's a debate for another day.

Quote:
Original post by thedevdan
However, saying that's intelligent behavior is like saying that water is intelligent


Okay, WHO was saying that EB was intelligent. Certainly not I! Intelligence itself might certainly be an EB, but I'm not suggesting for a moment that intelligence is necessary for EB. Don't put words in my mouth (again).

I find it VERY interesting (and amusing) that those who stand against me in this thread have continually failed to justify their argument of coincidence with clear examples. It appears that faith is the order of the day here for many. I also notice that those most vocal in attacking me have remained silent to my examples against their argument.

Timkin
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Original post by InnocuousFox
... and that is where you stopped reading. Therein lies the problem.


Dave, provide a valid argument to back up your conjecture or just simply apologise for your mistake.

Further to this, stop trolling please. Your comments are obviously intended as flame bait because you are pissed off... for example:

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Original post by InnocuousFox
He will likely skip this observation and others like it.


Comments like this simply detract from the thread further.

To everyone else that feels the need to continually attack anyone else... stop it please. If anyone here thinks that I have been attacking Dave, then you have my apologies. It has not been my intent to do that. I believe I have been defending myself against another instance of criticism that I come from an academic background and that this is useless here. This is not the first time that I have been accused by Dave of detracting from a thread because I post a definition in it, or a technical response and I am sick and tired of the direct implication that I don't know what I'm talking about because I'm not paid by a game studio.

Well, you know what, maybe I just wont bother any more. I AM sick and tired of this crap and in-fighting. Sorry Will, but it appears I was wrong in my last message. I'll continue to help mod in this thread, but I'm not going to bother offering solutions any more. It's obvious they're not appreciated.

I hope you're happy Dave. You've got what you've been fighting for for the past 3 years.

Signing off,

Timkin.
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Original post by Timkin
Quote:
Original post by InnocuousFox
... and that is where you stopped reading. Therein lies the problem.


Dave, provide a valid argument to back up your conjecture or just simply apologise for your mistake.
To what mistake are you refering? The rest of the original post of mine gave similar examples of flocking behaviors, etc. and gave specific reasons for those types of behaviors that have since been supported in this thread as belonging to the colloquial definition of EB. However, you seem to be seriously stuck (fixated?) on the initial sentance in the post (re: coincidence) - the sentance/term that I have later retracted. The rest of my initial post holds up under the judgement of this thread, however. A little hyperfocused on that one comment of mine, are we?

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Further to this, stop trolling please. Your comments are obviously intended as flame bait because you are pissed off...
Oh, this IS rich, isn't it? Odd that people are pointing at YOU for being an ass and yet it seems to be ME that is trolling? How curious.

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To everyone else that feels the need to continually attack anyone else... stop it please.
Simply pick apart everything they say and justify it by telling them that YOU are the only possible right one in the room. That much is OK to do.
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If anyone here thinks that I have been attacking Dave, then you have my apologies. It has not been my intent to do that.
You have simply picked apart everything I have said (and others) and justifying it by telling us that YOU are the only possible right one in the room. That much is OK to do... no apology necessary, I'm sure.

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I believe I have been defending myself against another instance of criticism that I come from an academic background and that this is useless here.
I believe that I have been defending myself against your insinuation that I don't know what I'm talking about... and primarly defending the notion that you apparently don't speak for a large body of the Game AI community when it comes to the definition of "emergent behavior".

Quote:
This is not the first time that I have been accused by Dave of detracting from a thread because I post a definition in it, or a technical response...
... And this is not the first time you have come across like a pompous ass that is completely unaware of the context of a discussion. Trust me, I'm not alone in this observation.

Quote:
...and I am sick and tired of the direct implication that I don't know what I'm talking about because I'm not paid by a game studio.
All such "implications" seem to be merely inferences on your part. However, you would be wise to remember that your peers in this little coffee nook of the information highway do not have Masters level course work under their belt. They are often not only not paid by a game studio, but not paid by anyone... in fact, many people who wander in to ask these questions are, for example, graphics designers working on a project of their own to just "putz with". It doesn't matter how "cutting edge" your solutions are when someone doesn't understand how to change between two states in a FSM. It doesn't matter how "right" you are when someone doesn't "get" 80% of what you are telling them.

I am all for high-level, advanced conversation and discussion. (Odd that you have insinuated the reverse.) However, that doesn't mean that you need to come in here and spew all over everything. Pull your head out of the books for a bit and make an effort to be some form of "people person." Find out what they are REALLY asking and REALLY needing. I know you recall vividly my somewhat crude reference a few months ago... but you really do sound like the politicians during the election year where every line of question can be easily steered to their pre-programmed talking points. Read the post, ask some qualifiers and then answer the bloody question... without blowing people away with the hard core crap. As I mentioned a few posts back... "there are a lot of "watch-building schematics" tossed around on this board when people are simply asking "what does the big hand mean when it is pointing to 3?"

Quote:
Well, you know what, maybe I just wont bother any more. I AM sick and tired of this crap and in-fighting. Sorry Will, but it appears I was wrong in my last message. I'll continue to help mod in this thread, but I'm not going to bother offering solutions any more. It's obvious they're not appreciated.
Oh, great. Now you are just pouting. That's right up there with "I'm going to take my toys and go home." Much of your input IS apprecitated... not only by others, but by me. (You see? My legs DON'T roll back up under the house when the Ruby Slippers come off!) What is likely NOT appreciated is the way YOU started this entire snowball of crap when you told me, to paraphrase: "You are wrong. You don't know what you are talking about." There have been more than enough respected people dropping into this thread to support the claim that I made. You just didn't quit, did you? All this time, you have been going off the freakin' deep end... and now YOU feel attacked enough to go home? Get over yourself, Tim.

You ARE a smart son of a bitch and you are well respected. I don't care who the hell is paying you to do it or what you have done in the past... the fact still holds that you can bring it when you need to. Just don't always be "bringing it".

Quote:
I hope you're happy Dave. You've got what you've been fighting for for the past 3 years.
Fantastic final tactic of yours... unless people are curious enough to look up the last 3 years of my posts, you leave them with an unchallenged claim that I have been stalking you for 3 years. You either know that is wrong, a misrepresentation and/or a gross exageration... or you have some serious mental health problems surrounding persecution. I really wish you wouldn't do shit like that... Christ... talk about trolling. *rollseyes*
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You just don't get it do you Dave. I'm sick and tired of your shit, your insinuations, your gross over-simplifications and your abusive posts. Because I have stated that I don't wish to partake of this crap any more, you accuse me of being immature, pouting and 'taking my toys and going home'. You never cease do you and you're not going to stop this crap, are you.

No Dave, I'm not pouting. I'm simply removing myself from the situation once and for all. For my own sanity and that of the others who are subjected to this crap. I see no benefit from giving up what little free time I have to offer information in this thread just so I can have people like you go to town on me because I'm 'too technical' and 'I dont answer the question asked at an appropriate level'. Fine. You're right, of course. If you want to label me as immature because I won't fight with you, even though you continue to bait me, then so be it. I don't give a shit about what you think of me anyway.

You can go ahead and say what you want now. I'm not going to defend myself any more. I just hope that for the sake of this forum you ease up and stop attacking people.

To everyone else that thinks that I have been attacking Dave or others in this thread, my apologies. However, I urge you to go back and read this thread again and fairly evaluate the tone of comments and the use of certain language by each participant before deciding who has been attacking whom. If you still believe it's my fault, I'm very sorry if I've detracted from your experience here at GD.net as a result.

Cheers,

Timkin

[Edited by - Timkin on August 23, 2004 3:28:23 AM]
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Original post by Timkin
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Original post by InnocuousFox
*shrug*

Well, I'm just repeating what game AI designers, programmers and litterature consider "emergent behavior" to be.


Could you provide some references Dave or perhaps identify these people? Either these people are wrong and are propogating erroneous information (in which case they should be correced before they set the industry back another 5 years) or you have misunderstood what they were saying/writing. All I can say is that I've never heard a game designer or programmer talk about emergent behaviour in the way you have, nor have I seen Game AI literature that refers to it as coincidence and involving no contextual awareness.

Cheers,

Timkin


See my articles in AI Game Programming Wisdom...
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Sorry I've come in kinda late on this one, but just wanted to come to Dave's defense a bit - we've actually talked quite a bit about EB *as it pertains to games*. And he's right about it in that context.

I have no doubt that Timkin is right about it in the grander scheme of AI, but that doesn't normally apply to those of us writing AI for games. Not that some of the tools of academia aren't used by us or that we don't appreciate the work being done by them...

While I appreciate Timkin's crusade to further the industry by making sure that definitions are clear, this constant bickering is what has kept me from posting more here.

And now (after posting this of course), I finish reading the whole thread and find out that Timkin likely won't even read this...

So, never mind.

[Edited by - eeaiguy on August 23, 2004 9:24:02 AM]
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All of this started over the initial comment:

"Emergent behavior" is really just a fancy way of saying "a coincidence that really looked cool"

I think everyone here agrees that this is a simplistic exaggeration (intentionally, to illustrate a point). The primary problem people saw with this statement is that it doesn't require 'rules' (psuedo randomness isn't emergence) or a reoccuring sense-act cycle (the result of the application of physics an isn't emergent behavior).

From an outside observers stand point, InnocuousFox and Timkin appear to be arguing roughly the same position, just using different terms to describe it.

Can we let this thread die peacefully?
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Quote:
Original post by eeaiguy
See my articles in AI Game Programming Wisdom...
Yeah... no kidding. I forgot about that. From "AI Game Programming Wisdom", Article 1.2 ("The Illusion of Intelligence"), page 19:
Quote:
(begins with quote from Dyson that I had seen earlier in my Google search but didn't post)
Emergent behavior is that which cannot be predicted through analysis at any level simpler than that of the system as a whole... Emergent behavior, by definition, is what's left after everything else has been explained. [Dyson97]

We can use emergent behavior (EB) to give the illusion of intelligence to a game AI. In fact, in many cases, occurances of EB an even provide the illusion to the developers themselves! At one point, during the testing of Empire Earth, one computer player attempted to expand to an area on the other side of an enemy's town. As his citizens were attempting to break through, a massive attack force came in and kept the enemy busy while the citizens got through. This was not programmed in - the attack just happened to coincide with the expansion attempt due to the adjustment of timers governing both behaviors. [IF: italics and bold mine]

Unfortunately, it is very hard to purposely create EB; rather, one needs to create an architecture in which EB can occur...


I find it strikingly "coincidental" that Bob used the word "coincide" in his description above.

Quote:
we've actually talked quite a bit about EB *as it pertains to games*. And he's right about it in that context.

I have no doubt that Timkin is right about it in the grander scheme of AI, but that doesn't normally apply to those of us writing AI for games.
My point exactly... initially and throughout. In fact, I repeated that contextual point in my later post where I said:
Quote:
Well, I'm just repeating what game AI designers, programmers and litterature consider "emergent behavior" to be. Perhaps it is different in the "real world"... but seeing as this is a game AI board, I didn't bother addressing contexts other than that of game AI.

(Back to quoting eeaiguy)
Quote:
Not that some of the tools of academia aren't used by us or that we don't appreciate the work being done by them...
And, contrary to what Timkin was alleging, I agree with this.

Good to see you, Bob. Thanks for checking in.
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Original post by RPGeezus
Please delete this thread-- it is a stain on the forum.
Careful. A few months ago I deleted an entire thread that I had started and in which Timkin had nutted out on me for something unrelated. I figured the thread, as is, was a "stain on the forum." He chewed my ass out royally saying I had no right to delete (my own) thread. He even reported me to Dave Astle (The Great Sightless Rhino of the West). I talked to Dave about it at GDC... who frankly thought the whole thing was rediculous.

While I agree with you that this thread went beyond stupid at some point, my point is that if this thread is deleted, there may be some sort of spontaneous fission reaction Down Under.
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Original post by BrianL
All of this started over the initial comment:

"Emergent behavior" is really just a fancy way of saying "a coincidence that really looked cool"

I think everyone here agrees that this is a simplistic exaggeration (intentionally, to illustrate a point).
Oh my God! Someone actually GETS the idea of oversimplifying to illustrate a point! I thought that if people didn't realize what I was doing the first time, they certainly would get it later when I acknowledged I was being "flipant and terse" and may have "overcompensated". Thank you for acknowledging the fact that I was possibly not expecting my words to be taken literally.

Quote:
Can we let this thread die peacefully?
Shit, I was trying to let the whole thing die back on page 1 when I said
Quote:
"However, since we have determined that this is not the goal of the OP, it is not appropriate for me to detail the differences here."
Aparently someone didn't want to let it go at that.

[Edited by - InnocuousFox on August 23, 2004 12:41:14 PM]
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ENOUGH ALREADY!!

Quote:

Careful. A few months ago I deleted an entire thread that I had started and in which Timkin had nutted out on me for something unrelated. I figured the thread, as is, was a "stain on the forum." He chewed my ass out royally saying I had no right to delete (my own) thread. He even reported me to Dave Astle (The Great Sightless Rhino of the West). I talked to Dave about it at GDC... who frankly thought the whole thing was rediculous.

While I agree with you that this thread went beyond stupid at some point, my point is that if this thread is deleted, there may be some sort of spontaneous fission reaction Down Under.


How was that meant to help anything?

Dave, If Tim is making you angry, ignore him or send him a private message.

Tim, if Dave is making you angry, ignore him or send him a private message.

This is NOT the lounge.. You don't see this stuff happening in the graphics forum. The Math and Physics forum gets along nicel.. So what's wrong with the AI forum?

I'm going to ask Timkin to kill this thread as he is the moderator here. If he refuses, I will ask someone else to kill the thread.

Will

(P.S. I've giving both InnocousFox and Timikin a negative rating for this one. Not for the initial disagreement, but for the way in which it degenerated. You're both long-time members and should know better).



[Edited by - RPGeezus on August 23, 2004 2:09:20 PM]
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I just go an email from Ferretman. He's back from being gone over the weekend. I was the one who initially pointed out this thread to him anyway last week and we have been discussing it. I figure he will close it when he pops in... and I would welcome it.
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We can use emergent behavior (EB) to give the illusion of intelligence to a game AI. In fact, in many cases, occurances of EB an even provide the illusion to the developers themselves! At one point, during the testing of Empire Earth, one computer player attempted to expand to an area on the other side of an enemy's town. As his citizens were attempting to break through, a massive attack force came in and kept the enemy busy while the citizens got through. This was not programmed in - the attack just happened to coincide with the expansion attempt due to the adjustment of timers governing both behaviors.


uhh...that actually just sounds like a coincidence, not emergent behavior. if a fedex guy shows up just as a plane crashes into your bedroom, saving your life, it doesnt suggest any kind of system at work. we may be getting "flippant" with our definitions, but lets not go willy nilly.
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Original post by Anonymous Poster
uhh...that actually just sounds like a coincidence, not emergent behavior. if a fedex guy shows up just as a plane crashes into your bedroom, saving your life, it doesnt suggest any kind of system at work. we may be getting "flippant" with our definitions, but lets not go willy nilly.
Remember that' Bob's definition was included in the chapter regarding the "illusion of intelligence". In this sense there is a fine line between coincidence and "unintended interaction".
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Success is not the only drop scene of a research project. Take a review of the history of Prolog, at 1990 age it is the hottest research field of AI, but now where is it? A researcher can just only got respect by himself. Academic EB research can not offer any useful tool to AI domain currently, they does not need any apology by anyone. All academic EB demonstration seems very idiotic, it is why AI programmer disdain them.

Quote:
Original post by Ferretman
......THIS IS THE WORSE KIND OF EMERGENT BEHAVIOR THAT SEEMS TO BREED IN FORUMS....

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One of the main ideas in Swarm Inteligence (at least what I got from it as being new) was the use of patterns of localized solution sets being tested to converge faster on an acceptable solution (and to avoid local maxima/minima problems).

The parameters of a random pattern is adjusted semi-inteligently
matching the problem type and the progress being made in the test cycles.

Its the equivalent of using a Monte Carlo method except making a educated guess as to what subset of the solution space to apply it to.
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Original post by haphazardlynamed
nice
your armies learned that world peace was the best answer
takes a bunch of triangles to figure that out what people cant...



Throw uncertainty (on several levels) into it and your Triangles are powerless.
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Original post by Samith
Here's an example of sort of emergent behavior I got once. I made a program that pitted 2 armies of triangles against eachother. The rules were, if you killed a guy on your own army you lost a some points, and if you killed a guy on the other army you gained some points. Every few minutes, I stopped the battle, and the guys with the best score moved on and "breeded" a new army. Then I would start over. Well, what I expected was that these armies would fight, but that's not what happened. At the beginning of each battle, the triangles would always shoot all of their bullets right away and never move. Obviously, since my triangles were lined up in rows and columns, a lot of friendly fire was happening. Well, after a few generations, my armies learned to shoot all of their ammo right away but not kill eachother. Right when the battle started they would all turn to a precise angle such that they could shoot everything and not kill anything. It was pretty neat, even though they weren't doing exactly what I had wanted them to do.


Just curious, but were the units blind, or could they "see" where their enemies were? Also, were you using a GA or a GP?
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The triangles could "see" the nearest enemy and the nearest friendly triangle. I don't know the difference between GA and GP, so I'll explain to you how I did it: Each triangle had a neural network to make decisions for it, and I used to weights in the NN as genes in the genetic processes. I would mix and match them and randomly mutate some of them after every round.
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The weights as the genes...
I guess that would be considered a Genetic Algorithm... I think.

Anyways, I plan to make something like this, except I will use a Genetic Program to decide which enemy that the units can see. It will probably not come up with the "peacful solution" that your units came up with, because my units will probably not choose to see enemies that have an obstruction in the way. Or they will choose not to shoot if they do see it... probably.

Edit: too...many...typos!

[Edited by - Nathaniel Hammen on August 29, 2004 10:53:35 PM]
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