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November 4, 2009

AI-Controlled Super Mario Brothers

A competition that tested the programming skills of researchers in artificial intelligence (AI) was organized this September by Julian Togelius of the University of Copenhagen. The Mario AI Competition challenged researchers to develop the best AI "agent" for a special version of the popular Super Mario Brothers video game that's implemented in Java and capable of infinite random level generation. According to Togelius, the purpose of the competition was to compare different agent development methodologies, including those that use learning techniques and genetic algorithms compared to these which are more on the "hand-coded" side.

The winner of the competition was Robin Baumgarten, a PhD student at Imperial College in London. Baumgarten used A*, a standard graph search algorithm in computer science that dates back to the 1960s. His Mario program had also won an earlier competition at Imperial College in July. The A*-based approach was more in keeping with classical AI game programming than with genetic algorithms.

Posted by BlogAuthor1 at November 4, 2009 8:31 PM
category: Artificial Invention


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