Mapping hearthstone deck spaces through map-elites with sliding boundaries

Matthew C. Fontaine, Fernando De Mesentier Silva, Scott Lee, Julian Togelius, L. B. Soros, Amy K. Hoover

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Abstract

    Quality diversity (QD) algorithms such as MAP-Elites have emerged as a powerful alternative to traditional single-objective optimization methods. They were initially applied to evolutionary robotics problems such as locomotion and maze navigation, but have yet to see widespread application. We argue that these algorithms are perfectly suited to the rich domain of video games, which contains many relevant problems with a multitude of successful strategies and often also multiple dimensions along which solutions can vary. This paper introduces a novel modification of the MAP-Elites algorithm called MAP-Elites with Sliding Boundaries (MESB) and applies it to the design and rebalancing of Hearthstone, a popular collectible card game chosen for its number of multidimensional behavior features relevant to particular styles of play. To avoid overpopulating cells with conflated behaviors, MESB slides the boundaries of cells based on the distribution of evolved individuals. Experiments in this paper demonstrate the performance of MESB in Hearthstone. Results suggest MESB finds diverse ways of playing the game well along the selected behavioral dimensions. Further analysis of the evolved strategies reveals common patterns that recur across behavioral dimensions and explores how MESB can help rebalance the game.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationGECCO 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
    Pages161-169
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450361118
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 13 2019
    Event2019 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, GECCO 2019 - Prague, Czech Republic
    Duration: Jul 13 2019Jul 17 2019

    Publication series

    NameGECCO 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference

    Conference

    Conference2019 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, GECCO 2019
    CountryCzech Republic
    CityPrague
    Period7/13/197/17/19

    Keywords

    • Balancing
    • Card games
    • Games
    • Hearthstone
    • Illumination algorithms
    • Quality diversity

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computational Mathematics

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