Friday, February 22, 2008

Mentioned at the GDC

A paper by me, Renzo and Simon was recently mentioned as "one of the top ten research finding in games studies" at the Game Developers Conference. This is really cool, as GDC is the most important conference for the games industry, attended by all the important developers and industry heads and tons of journalists.

The presentation can be found here:

A short description and some discussion on Raph Koster's site:

And the paper:

Quite surprising to see that I'm doing "games studies", I thought I was doing artificial intelligence...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Call for participation: IEEE WCCI 2008 Simulated Car Racing Competition



Deadline: May 25th, 2008
Organizers: Daniele Loiacono, Julian Togelius and Pier Luca Lanzi.

The car racing competition, organized in association with the 2008 IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence WCCI 2008, is now open for submissions. Competition rules and further details can be found on the competition web site:

while recent news can be found at

*** GOAL & SCOPE***

The goal of the competition is to develop racing car controllers that can compete on a set of tracks against the timer or other controllers.

There are no limitations on the type of controller, handcoded controllers are also welcome, although the focus of the competition, given the venue, will be on controllers using computational intelligence techniques (e.g. genetic programming, neuroevolution, td-learning, policy gradient search, fuzzy logic, etc.).


The competition is organized as the successful car racing competitions held in association with CEC2007 and CIG2007, but it is based on "The Open Racing Car Simulator" (TORCS), a realistic car racing simulator, and structured as a client-server architecture.

A racing server will manage the race, while controllers will run as different processes. Communication between the racing server and the controllers is done through TCP/IP. The race is therefore in *real time* and the controller's reaction time is likely to be an important factor in the design.

We will score every submitted controller on the distance raced in a fixed amount of time when driving on its own on a set of tracks. At the end of the competition, the best few controllers will race against each other on a different set of tracks, validating that the controllers perform well in the presence of other cars and that their performance generalizes to other tracks than those they were trained for. The winner of the final competitive races will get to present their controller at WCCI2008 <>, and will have their registration fee reimbursed.

*** SOFTWARE ***

The competition software can be downloaded from:

where detailed installation instructions, a description of the sensors model, and examples of controllers are available; more example trainers and interfaces in different programming languages will be added soon.