Sebastian Pokutta's Blog

Mathematics and related topics

Mario AI Competition 2009

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Yesterday I learned about the Mario AI Competition 2009 (thx for the pointer). The goal of the competition is to provide an agent that automatically navigates through a version of the Mario game:

This competition is about learning, or otherwise developing, the best controller (agent) for a version of Super Mario Bros.

The controller’s job is to win as many levels (of increasing difficulty) as possible. Each time step (24 per second in simualated time) the controller has to decide what action to take (left, right, jump etc) in response to the environment around Mario.

We are basing the competition on a heavily modified version of the Infinite Mario Bros game by Markus Persson. That game is an all-Java tribute to the Nintendo’s seminal Super Mario Bros game, with the added benefit of endless random level generation. We believe that playing this game well is a challenge worthy of the best players, the best programmers and the best learning algorithms alike.

Sounds like a perfect application for some optimization and in fact Robin Baumgarten programmed an agent partly based on the A* algorithm. Check out the video below to see how fast the agent is actually moving through the levels:

A comment on the youtube video: “So I undestand correctly: da computer will play video games for us, so we have more free time? Way cool.”

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Written by Sebastian

August 14, 2009 at 10:34 pm

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