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CM30076 / CM30082
Individual Project

Project Ideas

Dr Joanna Bryson


Dr Bryson's projects page

Adapting a Video Game to do Psychological Experiments
This project would involve conducting experiments in human implicit task learning through looking at how they perform in navigation and exploration tasks in a video game.  You would need to modify a game (probably Unreal Tournament) to include three customized levels to correspond to the three phases of the experiment, and also to record statistics on the subjects, for example their route choices and their reaction times when faced with decisions.  You would also need to conduct the experiments and write up the results formally. 
Detecting Individual Differences in Beliefs through Language Use
There is now a large body of work showing that human-like semantics can be derived by an automatic statistical system that simply looks at how words are used.  That is, if two words have similar meanings, they will generally occur in a similar context.  This research has not yet been applied to look at individual differences either between people or texts.  This project would involve both implementing a user-friendly system that gathers context-based semantic statistics and then demonstrating the system by conducting research on questions such as:   is there a difference between how deaf people and those with normal hearing use acoustic metaphors?  (e.g. "I've heard of that")  Have the meanings of the terms "man" and "woman" moved closer together since the advent of feminism and PC language?  This will require gathering large corpras of language for data as well as conducting and reporting the experiments.
The Behavior-Oriented Design of an Intelligent Environment
Behavior-Oriented Design (BOD) is an iterative methodology for building artificial intelligence.  It is based on both object oriented design, dynamic AI plans and somewhat like extreme programming. Intelligent environments are rooms or houses that can sense and act, normally in support of human users.  This project would involve combining video avatars, language technology and vison to create a prototype system for helping support elderly users with failing memory.  It would helpful if the student  had taken or was taking vision courses.
A Reactive Project Planner
Reactive planning is the way that intelligent systems can respond to a changing environment with appropriate actions. Project planning is the way managers try to make sure organizations do the same thing.  Yet tools for project planning are seldom sufficiently reactive to address unexpected opportunities or unforseen problems. For example, a product may be found that eliminates many of the steps previously required by the project (though possibly adding some necessary integration), or a key employee may take another position, forcing massive rescheduling.
The purpose of this project is to create a tool that allows for the rapid sketching of a partially-complete project plan, as well as supporting changes and editing. The idea is to make a tool for dynamic, agile project management, not just for arachaic waterfall approaches. At any stage it should be possible to print a gannt chart.
A Competition Server for AI Gamebots Programs
Several universities, including ours, are usting Unreal Tournament to test theories of artificial intelligence.  It would be helpful if there were a competition server so that AI programs could be stored, downloaded & compared with each other.   This project would involve creating a fairly complicated system with a good deal of security.  It would also involve learning enough about scientific experiments to help support those who want to run them and store their data.   There are a number of similar sites (e.g. chess, machine learning, robocup) that would need to be reviewed as well.
The Behavior-Oriented Design of an Artificial Football Team
Behavior-Oriented Design (BOD) is a way of making artificial intelligence based on combining object oriented design and POSH reactive plans. The goal of this project is to write a critical analysis of BOD, improve on the IDE for POSH, and to create a good team for the Robocup Football Simulator League (that's VR, not robots.) This project will be in python.
A Reactive, Behaviour-Based Real-Time AI Musical Accompanist
A reactive system is one that can respond to a changing environment with appropriate actions. Behaviour-Based AI is based on the principal of modularity -- many elements of a system solve small problems in parallel, then somehow these parts are assembled into a complete, coherent behavior. In 1992, I built an AI Reactive Accompanist which some people in the field say is still a leader in its field. However, this system never worked in real time, and never learned basic folk-music patterns so that it could intelligently resolve "obvious" issues, like what chord to play during the last, sustained note of a song. This project would require a good deal of coding and use of the CSOUND system, produced by Prof. Fitch. The original system is in C++, but it does not have to be a constraint on the new system.