Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Gary B. Lamont, PhD.


The investigation introduces a novel approach for online build-order optimization in real-time strategy (RTS) games. The goal of our research is to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) RTS planning agent for military critical decision- making education with the ability to perform at an expert human level, as well as to assess a players critical decision- making ability or skill-level. Build-order optimization is modeled as a multi-objective problem (MOP), and solutions are generated utilizing a multi-objective evolutionary algorithm (MOEA) that provides a set of good build-orders to a RTS planning agent. We de ne three research objectives: (1) Design, implement and validate a capability to determine the skill-level of a RTS player. (2) Design, implement and validate a strategic planning tool that produces near expert level build-orders which are an ordered sequence of actions a player can issue to achieve a goal, and (3) Integrate the strategic planning tool into our existing RTS agent framework and an RTS game engine. The skill-level metric we selected provides an original and needed method of evaluating a RTS players skill-level during game play. This metric is a high-level description of how quickly a player executes a strategy versus known players executing the same strategy. Our strategic planning tool combines a game simulator and an MOEA to produce a set of diverse and good build-orders for an RTS agent. Through the integration of case-base reasoning (CBR), planning goals are derived and expert build- orders are injected into a MOEA population. The MOEA then produces a diverse and approximate Pareto front that is integrated into our AI RTS agent framework. Thus, the planning tool provides an innovative online approach for strategic planning in RTS games. Experimentation via the Spring Engine Balanced Annihilation game reveals that the strategic planner is able to discover build-orders that are better than an expert scripted agent and thus achieve faster strategy execution times.

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