2000 Plays Critical Role in Taking Artificial Intelligence
to a New Level
intelligence is the name of the game, literally, for
researcher Dr Jonathan Schaeffer and his colleagues
at the University of Alberta. His goal is to create
applications that have the illusion of intelligence.
With the computer games industry bringing in $20 billion
US annually, he applies his research to applications
in this area as a way of showing the benefits of the
the department of Computing Science, Schaeffer and the
GAMES (Game-playing, Analytical methods, Minimax search
and Empirical Studies) research group are making globally
recognized advances in artificial intelligence. Acknowledged
as leading researchers, the members of this research
group are known for their creation and development of
programs such as Chinook (the first world computer
champion in any game, checkers; a feat recognized by
the Guinness Book of World Records), Phoenix
(a former world computer chess champion, before Deep
Blue came along), and Poki (the strongest poker-playing
program in the world). Their research has moved from
traditonal board and card games to the world of interactive
entertainment. Joint research with Electronic Arts (Vancouver;
the worlds largest computer games company) and
Bioware (Edmonton; the world leader in role-playing
games) is bringing their artificial intelligence research
to a world-wide audience of enthusiasts.
of the research has wider applicability. For example
the search techniques they developed have been applied
to DNA sequence analysis. The human-like
game-playing characters they are developing can be used
to increase the effectiveness of immersive training
programs. This diversity of applications allows the
GAMES group's research to open new frontiers and build
bridges with industry.
to high performance computing is a critical component
of the GAMES research group. MACI (and C3) provides
Schaeffer and his colleagues access to an essential
and otherwise prohibitively expensive
resource for this world-class research.
Brockington and J. Schaeffer. APHID: Asynchronous
Parallel Game-Tree Search, Journal of Parallel
and Distributed Computing, vol. 60, pp. 247-273,
MacDonald, D. Szafron, J. Schaeffer and Steve B. Generating
Parallel ProgramFrameworks from Parallel Design Patterns,
EuroPar, pp. 95-104, 2000.
Novillo, R. Unrau and J. Schaeffer. Identifying and
Validating Irregular Mutual Exclusion Synchronization
in Explicitly Parallel Programs, EuroPar, pp. 389-394,
Romein, A. Plaat, H. Bal and J. Schaeffer. Transposition
Table Driven Work Scheduling in Distributed Search
, American Association for Artificial Intelligence,
pp. 725-731, 1999.
Charter, J. Schaeffer and D. Szafron. Sequence Alignment
using FastLSA, International Conference on Mathematics
and Engineering Techniques in Medicine and Biological
Sciences (METMBS'2000), pp.239-245, 2000.
Junghanns and J. Schaeffer. Sokoban:
Enhancing General Single-Agent Search Methods Using
Domain Knowledge, Artificial Intelligence,
to appear, 2001.
Billings, A. Davidson, J. Schaeffer and D. Szafron.
The Challenge of Poker, Artificial Intelligence,
to appear, 2001.