Sunday, August 24, 2014

Angry Birds in eClub

Radim and Karel students of the CTU won the ECAI Angry Birds AI Competition. They developed the winning program during the eClub Summer Camp. Thanks to all partners, CTU MediaLab, CIG, Datalab and all participating students and mentors.

This week the best AI researchers met in Prague at the European Conference on Artificial Intelligence ECAI 2014. As part of the conference the organizers prepared an interesting competition Angry Birds. The goal of this game is to shoot birds to destroy pigs. Teams of researchers were competing in designing an intelligent agent, computer program playing the game without human intervention, ideally better than humans. At the beginning developers are provided with a sample program with components returning the scene screenshots, simple trajectory planner and playing control component. The trick is deciding how and where to shoot birds to kill all pigs. The agent first searches the scene for pigs and then estimates possible targets and finds the trajectories to kill them all. Sounds simple? Not at all! The pigs are hiding behind different objects and to choose the best shot, the best strategy is very difficult. Radim and Karel decided to generalize several strategies solving the game hurdles in all levels. The agent estimated which strategy to play to achieve the overall damage. It took quite some time but at the end they have designed the best agent, they are the winners. Great job! Needless to say,  they were very lucky working with a great mentor Tomas in the eClub Summer Camp.

Angry Birds is just a game, but the technology behind is very useful for solving real problems and the lessons learned will be useful.

There are about twenty students working in the eClub Summer Camp on different AI mainly machine learning problems and mobile applications design. Check our web pages to learn more.