Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


An Oz-Centric Review of Interactive Drama
and Believable Agents

Michael Mateas

June 1997

Keywords: Artificial intelligence, art and entertainment, believable agents, interactive drama, Oz

Believable agents are autonomous agents that exhibit rich personalities. Interactive dramas take place in virtual worlds inhabited by characters (believable agents) with whom an audience interacts. In the course of this interaction, the audience experiences a story (lives a plot arc). This report presents the research philosophy behind the Oz Project, a research group at CMU that has spent the last ten years studying believable agents and interactive drama. The report then surveys current work from an Oz perspective.

Irregular applications based on sparse matrices are at the core of many important scientific computations. Since the importance of such applications is likely to increase in the future, high-performance parallel and distributed systems must provide adequate support for such applications. We characterize a family of irregular scientific applications and derive the demands they will place on the communication systems of future parallel systems. Running time of these applications is dominated by repeated sparse matrix vector product (SMVP) operations. Using simple performance models of the SMVP, we investigate requirements for bisection bandwidth, sustained bandwidth on each processing element (PE), burst bandwidth during block transfers, and block latencies for PEs under different assumptions about sustained computational throughput. Our model indicates that block latencies are likely to be the most problematic engineering challenge for future communication networks.

46 pages

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