Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Emmett Tomai

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Fowler

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Schweller


In this thesis we investigate the processes involved in learning to play a game. It was inspired by two observations about how human players learn to play. First, learning the domain is intertwined with goal pursuit. Second, games are designed to ramp up in complexity, walking players through a gradual cycle of acquiring, refining, and generalizing knowledge about the domain. This approach does not rely on traces of expert play. We created an integrated planning, learning and execution system that uses StarCraft as its domain. The planning module creates command/event groupings based on the data received. Observations of unit behavior are collected during execution and returned to the learning module which tests the generalization hypothesizes. The planner uses those test results to generate events that will pursue the goal and facilitate learning the domain. We demonstrate that this approach can efficiently learn the subtle traits of commands through multiple scenarios.


Copyright 2012 Zackary Gill. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American