Rensselaer Department of Cognitive Science Department of Computer Science
Rensselaer Artificial Intelligence and Reasoning (RAIR) Laboratory
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Advanced Wargaming

Advanced Wargaming
Wargaming has a long and distinguished history, dating from H.G. Wells' Little Wars to today's strategy and action games in the entertainment field, and to high-stakes planning in advance of actual battle.

However, all these games are marked by at least two severe limitations:

One, the humans represented in them are anything but human-level. Real humans have ethical and religious beliefs, have histories, can communicate in languages, and so on. (Our first advanced synthetic character is known simply as 'E.')

Two, whereas actions taken in real war have consequences that reach to the psychological, social, political, ... spheres, in current wargames everything pivots around simple kinetic consequences.

Our R&D is devoted to building wargames that feature advanced synthetic characters having the cognitive capacities of real humans, whether friend or foe; and to ones in which all spheres of human existence are simulated.

To this end, with support from AFOSR, and previous support from AFRL, we are currently implementing a system (PsyPre) with predictive capability, to, first, make predictions about agents playing our enhanced version of a psychologically rich wargame called `Nicaragua!', and at games abstracted from Nicaragua!. This game shows how modern revolutionary warfare works, and involves both military and political struggles, in addition to such decisive factors as intelligence operations and propaganda. A snapshot from the game is shown above.
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Wargaming Project Team
  - Micah Clark
  - Trevor Housten
  - Selmer Bringsjord
  - Bettina Schimanski