A logic-based event controller for means-end reasoning in simulation environments


  • Journal: Simulation (San Diego, Calif.), vol. 99, p. 34, 2023
  • Internasjonale standardnumre:
    • Trykt: 0037-5497
    • Elektronisk: 1741-3133
  • Lenke:

Simulation games are designed to cultivate expertise and rehearse particular skill sets. In order to yield
longitudinal effects, sequences of events must be crafted to yield intended learning outcomes, sometimes by
focusing on particularly difficult situations and replaying variants. The present paper develops a logic-based
approach for encoding the interrelation between action, events and objects in a manner that allows the resulting
scenario description to immediately be executed in a game development environment. This has the dual effect
of decoupling the description of a scenario from the simulation platform itself, as well as supporting iterative
and flexible development of learning content. To this end, we provide three interrelated components: First, we
develop a scenario description language based on Answer Set Programming. The language is designed to allow
an automated reasoner to deduce a schedule of the future events that are caused by an action taken in a given
simulation environment. Secondly, we define a protocol for exchanging actions and computed futures between,
respectively, the simulation environment and the external automated reasoner. Finally, as a proof of concept, we
develop an API for the Unity Real-Time Development Platform that implements the protocol and offers a software
framework for for connecting the computed future events to concrete game objects. This allows the game to
evolve coherently from the specification. We argue that the resulting system inherits capabilities for artificial
commonsense reasoning from its declarative basis which are useful for reasoning about an evolving emergency
incident or training scenario.