Jacob Schrum's Page for Spring 2014

e-mail: schrum2@cs.utexas.edu

I'm a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Computer Science. I've already received a Master of Science in Computer Sciences (MSCS) degree from the department as a stepping stone on the way to my Ph.D. I made my dissertation proposal on Evolving Multimodal Behavior in the Fall of 2009, and am currently in candidacy. I will be graduating this May. I received my B.S. from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, where I triple-majored in Computer Science, Math, and German.

My dissertation advisor is Risto Miikkulainen of the Neural Networks Research Group. I'm interested in automatic discovery of complex multi-modal behavior, particularly in the domain of video games. Agents that can behave in different manners in response to different situations are crucial for games because they are so complex, and human players adapt so quickly. I'm particularly interested in the use of multiobjective evolution and neuroevolution in these domains. Furthermore, given the power of evolution via natural selection, I think it should be possible to find domain-independent methods to solve these tasks. Therefore I also study and develop domain-independent shaping methods to help evolution. The less expert knowledge, the better.

So far this research has primarily used the BREVE simulation environment. My source code is available here. This code is offered freely without guarantee, but feel free to ask me for help if you are interested. If you are unfamiliar with BREVE, then I recommend you try out some of the BREVE example code first.

Lately I've moved on to working in the domain of Ms. Pac-Man using the Java implementation available here. Results in this domain will appear this semester in my dissertation, and hopefully in peer-reviewed publications in the near future.

I've also done some work in the domain of Unreal Tournament 2004 using the programming API Pogamut, which communicates with the game according to the Gamebots message protocol. Along with Igor Karpov, I participated in the annual Botprize and Humanlike Bots Competitions every year, and at the 2012 Botprize competition our team finally won the grand prize by attaining a humanness rating of 51.9%. We also won the year's preceding Humanlike Bots Competition. Information about our work in Unreal Tournament is available on our Humanlike Bots Project Page. There are also some movies from the 2012 competition here. The source code for our bot is available here.

This Spring I'm teaching two classes. I am teaching CS301K - Foundations of Logical Thought for the third time. I am also teaching CS311 - Discrete Math for Computer Science for the first time, using "reverse teaching" video modules developed by Adam Klivans. I am no longer webmaster of the UTCS AI Lab Website. I've passed this job on to Amelia Harrison.

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Last Updated: 2/19/14