A Knowledge-Based Framework for the Collaborative Improvisation of Scene Introductions

  • Brian O’Neill
  • Andreya Piplica
  • Daniel Fuller
  • Brian Magerko
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7069)


This article describes a framework for the mixed-initiative collaborative creation of introductions to improvised theatrical scenes. This framework is based on the empirical study of experienced improvisational actors and the processes they use to reach shared understanding while creating the scene. Improvisation is a notable creative act, where the process of creating the scene is as much a product as the scene itself. Our framework models the processes of narrative scene establishment. It is designed to allow for the collaborative co-creation of the narrative by both human and computational improvisers. This mixed-initiative approach allows either type of improviser (AI or human) to deal with the ambiguities that are inherent to improvisational theatre. This emphasis on equal collaborative creation also differentiates this framework from existing work in story generation and interactive narrative.


Collaborative environments for interactive storytelling semantic knowledge for interactive storytelling virtual characters and agents 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Magerko, B., Manzoul, W., Riedl, M., Baumer, A., Fuller, D., Luther, K., Pearce, C.: An Empirical Study of Cognition and Theatrical Improvisation. In: Proc. Seventh ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition, pp. 117–126. ACM, New York (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Magerko, B., Dohogne, P., DeLeon, C.: Employing Fuzzy Concepts for Digital Improvisation Theatre. In: Proc. Seventh Annual Conference on AI and Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE). AAAI Press (2011)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fuller, D., Magerko, B.: Shared Mental Models in Improvisational Theatre. In: Proc. Eighth ACM Conference on Creativity and Cognition. ACM, New York (in press, 2011)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Baumer, A., Magerko, B.: An Analysis of Narrative Moves in Improvisational Theatre. In: Aylett, R., Lim, M.Y., Louchart, S., Petta, P., Riedl, M. (eds.) ICIDS 2010. LNCS, vol. 6432, pp. 165–175. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Johnstone, K.: Impro for Storytellers. Routledge, New York (1999)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Reinholdsson, P.: Making Music Together: An Interactionist Perspective on Small-Group Performance in Jazz. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis: Studia Musicologica Upsaliensia, Nova Series 14, Uppsala University (1998)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Alterhaug, B.: Improvisation on a triple theme: Creativity, Jazz Improvisation and Communication. Studia Musicologica Norvegica 30, 97–118 (2004)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Beyls, P.: Interaction and Self-organisation in a Society of Musical Agents. In: Proc. ECAL 2007 Workshop on Music and Artificial Life, Lisbon, Portugal (2007)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    McCormack, J.: Eden: An Evolutionary Sonic Ecosystem. In: Kelemen, J., Sosík, P. (eds.) ECAL 2001. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 2159, pp. 133–142. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Eigenfeldt, A.: Coming together: Composition by negotiation. In: Proc. International Conference on Multimedia, pp. 1433–1436. ACM, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sawyer, R.K.: Improvised dialogues: Emergence and creativity in conversation. Ablex Publishing Corporation, Westport (2003)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Aylett, R.S., Louchart, S., Dias, J., Paiva, A.C.R., Vala, M.: FearNot! - An Experiment in Emergent Narrative. In: Panayiotopoulos, T., Gratch, J., Aylett, R.S., Ballin, D., Olivier, P., Rist, T. (eds.) IVA 2005. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3661, pp. 305–316. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Riedl, M.O., Stern, A.: Believable Agents and Intelligent Story Adaptation for Interactive Storytelling. In: Göbel, S., Malkewitz, R., Iurgel, I. (eds.) TIDSE 2006. LNCS, vol. 4326, pp. 1–12. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Perlin, K., Goldberg, A.: Improv: A System for Scripting Interactive Actors in Virtual Worlds. In: Proc. 23rd Annual Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH 1996), pp. 205–216. ACM, New York (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bruce, A., Knight, J., Listopad, S., Magerko, B., Nourbakhsh, I.R.: Robot Improv: Using Drama to Create Believable Agents. In: Proc. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, pp. 4002–4008. IEEE, San Francisco (2000)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Swartjes, I., Vromen, J.: Emergent Story Generation: Lessons from Improvisational Theater. In: Proc. AAAI Fall Symposium on Intelligent Narrative Technologies, Arlington, VA (2007)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pérez y Pérez, R., Sharples, M.: Three computer-based models of storytelling: BRUTUS, MINSTREL and MEXICA. Knowledge-Based Systems 17(1), 15–29 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Theune, M., Faas, S., Faas, E., Nijholt, A., Heylen, D.: The Virtual Storyteller: Story Creation by Intelligent Agents. In: Proc. Technologies for Interactive Digital Storytelling and Entertainment (TIDSE) Conference, pp. 204–215 (2002)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    McCoy, J., Treanor, M., Samuel, B., Tearse, B., Mateas, M., Wardrip-Fruin, N.: Comme il Faut 2: A fully realized model for socially-oriented gameplay. In: Proc. Intelligent Narrative Technologies III Workshop, pp. 1–8. ACM, New York (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mateas, M., Stern, A.: Integrating plot, character and natural language processing in the interactive drama Façade. In: Proc. 1st International Conference on Technologies for Interactive Digital Storytelling and Entertainment, Darmstadt, Germany (2003)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Zhang, L., Gillies, M., Barnden, J.A., Hendley, R.J., Lee, M.G., Wallington, A.M.: Affect Detection and An Automated Improvisational AI Actor in E-drama. In: Huang, T.S., Nijholt, A., Pantic, M., Pentland, A. (eds.) ICMI/IJCAI Workshops 2007. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 4451, pp. 339–358. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Si, M., Marsella, S.C., Pynadath, D.V.: THESPIAN: An Architecture for Interactive Pedagogical Drama. In: Proc. 2005 Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education: Supporting Learning through Intelligent and Socially Informed Technology, pp. 595–602. IOS Press, Amsterdam (2005)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Millington, I.: Artificial Intelligence for Games. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco (2006)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Niehaus, J., Weyhrauch, P.: An Architecture for Collaborative Human/AI Control of Interactive Characters. In: Proc. Workshop for Collaborative Human/AI Control for Interactive Experiences at Autonomous Agents and MultiAgent Systems (AAMAS), pp. 12–16. ACM, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zhu, J., Moshell, J.M., Ontañón, S., Erbiceanu, E., Hughes, C.E.: Why Can’t a Virtual Character Be More Like a Human: A Mixed-Initiative Approach to Believable Agents. In: Shumaker, R. (ed.) Virtual and Mixed Reality, Part II. LNCS, vol. 6774, pp. 289–296. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian O’Neill
    • 1
  • Andreya Piplica
    • 1
  • Daniel Fuller
    • 2
  • Brian Magerko
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Interactive ComputingGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.School of Literature, Communication, and CultureGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations