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About

Raluca D. Gaina is currently studying for her Ph.D. in Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence at Queen Mary University of London, in the area of rolling horizon evolution in general video game playing, after completing a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Computer Games at the University of Essex. She’s already completed her first year of Ph.D. at the University of Essex (transfer to Queen Mary) with 7 conference papers and a journal in the final stages of acceptance. Her research interests include general video game playing AI, reinforcement learning and evolutionary computation algorithms.

Find out more of what I get up to on the blog.

Research Topic

Rolling Horizon Evolutionary Algorithm Improvements for General Video Game Playing in Single and Multi-Player Games

Artificial Intelligence is concerned with creating an agent capable of rational thought. When applied to games, the agent must be able to make decisions which would lead to fulfilling its goal (usually winning, possibly against an opponent). As a sub-field, general video game playing aims to design an agent which would achieve high-level play in any given game, thus raising the need to generalize the heuristics used and introduce various machine learning techniques to gather information about the previously unknown game. While Monte Carlo Tree Search has dominated general video game playing, Rolling Horizon Evolutionary Algorithms have the potential to reach an even better performance. The proposed study will focus on improving this algorithm, using mostly the General Video Game AI framework for testing purposes.

So far, various aspects have been explored on several games, such as the impact of the population size and individual length on performance, population seeding techniques and other algorithm structure modifications previously encountered in literature, now tested in a consistent environment and a general setting. A simple macro-action enhancement has also been explored in continuous physics games. On successful completion, the research aims to bring forward better NPCs and new challenging experiences for players, as well as reliable game testing tools.

Publications

2017

  • Raluca D. Gaina, Adrien Couetoux, Dennis J.N.J. Soemers, Mark H.M. Winands, Tom Vodopivec, Florian Kirchgessner, Jialin Liu, Simon M. Lucas, Diego Perez-Liebana, “The 2016 Two-Player GVGAI Competition”, IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games (TCIAIG), volume PP, issue 99, p. 1-1, 2017. (PDF) (IEEEXplore)

  • Raluca D. Gaina, Rokas Volkovas, Carlos Gonzalez Diaz, Rory Davidson, “‘Automatic Game Tuning for Strategic Diversity”, IEEE Computer Science and Electronic Engineering Conference (CEEC), p. 195-200, 2017. (PDF) (IEEEXplore)

  • Raluca D. Gaina, Simon M. Lucas, Diego Perez-Liebana, “Rolling Horizon Evolution Enhancements in General Video Game Playing”, IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games, p. 88-95, 2017. (PDF) (IEEEXplore)

  • Diego Perez-Liebana, Matthew Stephenson, Raluca D. Gaina, Jochen Renz, Simon M. Lucas “Introducing Real World Physics and Macro-Actions to General Video Game AI”, IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games, p.248-255, 2017. (PDF) (IEEEXplore)

  • Raluca D. Gaina, Simon M. Lucas, Diego Perez-Liebana, “Population Seeding Techniques for Rolling Horizon Evolution in General Video Game Playing”, Special Session on Computational Intelligence in Games, IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC), p. 1956-1963, 2017. (PDF) (IEEEXplore)

  • Kamolwan Kunanusont, Raluca D. Gaina, Jialin Liu, Diego Perez-Liebana, Simon M. Lucas, “The N-Tuple Bandit Evolutionary Algorithm for Automatic Game Improvement”, Special Session on Computational Intelligence in Games, IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC), p. 2201-2208, 2017. (PDF) (IEEEXplore)

  • Raluca D. Gaina, Jialin Liu, Simon M. Lucas, Diego Perez-Liebana, “Analysis of Vanilla Rolling Horizon Evolution Parameters in General Video Game Playing”, Squillero G., Sim K. (eds) Applications of Evolutionary Computation, EvoApplications, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 10199, Springer, Cham., p. 418-434, 2017. (PDF) (Springer)

2016

  • Raluca D. Gaina, Diego Perez-Liebana, Simon M. Lucas, “General Video Game for 2 Players: Framework and Competition”, Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Science and Electronic Engineering Conference (CEEC), p. 186-191, 2016. (PDF) (IEEEXplore)

Projects

Global Game Jam 2017: Flappy McArmbands Goes to London.
Global Game Jam 2016: Rebirth.

Awards

IEEE Present Around The World Competition, University of Essex, 2017: Runner-up
IET Game AI Hackathon Competition, University of Essex, 2017: Runner-up Best Game Design

External Links

General Video Game AI Competition (GVGAI)
Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence (IGGI)
UoE CSEE Women in Science (Athena Swan)

Contact

E-mail: r.d.gaina@qmul.ac.uk