A Methodology for Player Modeling based on Machine Learning
AI is gradually receiving more attention as a fundamental feature to increase the immersion in digital games. Among the several AI approaches, player modeling is becoming an important one. The main idea is to understand and model the player characteristics and behaviors in order to develop a better AI. In this work, we discuss several aspects of this new field. We proposed a taxonomy to organize the area, discussing several facets of this topic, ranging from implementation decisions up to what
... model attempts to describe. We then classify, in our taxonomy, some of the most important works in this field. We also presented a generic approach to deal with player modeling using ML, and we instantiated this approach to model players' preferences in the game Civilization IV. The instantiation of this approach has several steps. We first discuss a generic representation, regardless of what is being modeled, and evaluate it performing experiments with the strategy game Civilization IV. Continuing the instantiation of the proposed approach we evaluated the applicability of using game score information to distinguish different preferences. We presented a characterization of virtual agents in the game, comparing their behavior with their stated preferences. Once we have characterized these agents, we were able to observe that different preferences generate different behaviors, measured by several game indicators. We then tackled the preference modeling problem as a binary classification task, with a supervised learning approach. We compared four different methods, based on different paradigms (SVM, AdaBoost, NaiveBayes and JRip), evaluating them on a set of matches played by different virtual agents. We conclude our work using the learned models to infer human players' preferences. Using some of the evaluated classifiers we obtained accuracies over 60% for most of the inferred preferences.