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Story planning as exploratory creativity: Techniques for expanding the narrative search space


The authoring of fictional stories is considered a creative process. The purpose of most story authoring is not to invent a new style or genre of story that will be accepted by the population but to invent a single narrative that is novel enough to be tellable. Computational story generation systems are more limited than human authors in the space of narratives that can be considered because it is often the case that story generation systems are constrained to operate within a fixed representation of the story world. These limitations can impact whether a story generation system is considered creative or not. In this paper, we describe a story planning system, Fabulist. Fabulist however is constrained by the world model input by the system user. We present two algorithms that enable story planning systems such as Fabulist to break outside the bounds of the initial world model in order to search a larger space of narratives.

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Correspondence to Mark O. Riedl.

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Mark O. Riedl, Ph.D.: He is a research scientist at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies. He received is Ph.D. in computer science from North Carolina State University in 2004. Mark’s research interests are in AI for entertainment, education and training, particularly involving automated narrative generation, interactive narrative, and intelligent virtual agents.

R. Michael Young, Ph.D.: He is an assistant professor of Computer Science at NC State University. In 1998 he received a Ph.D. in Intelligent Systems from the University of Pittsburgh. He was awarded an NSF CAREER Award in 2000. Michael’s research interests are in AI, planning algorithms, discourse generation and models of interactive narrative.

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Riedl, M.O., Young, R.M. Story planning as exploratory creativity: Techniques for expanding the narrative search space. New Gener Comput 24, 303–323 (2006).

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  • Exploratory Creativity
  • Story Generation
  • Narrative Intelligence