Research Interests

Nowadays the computer has become a new medium for narrative representation with a great ludic, pedagogical, artistic and even therapeutic potential. This is the “perfect” medium for interactive storytelling, a kind of narrative difficult to find in novels or films. The interactive dilemma is the conflict that arises between authors and interactors because they are not able to control simultaneously the development of the story. The author is the owner of his work, the one who creates the necessary elements to generate all the possible stories, but the interactors also take part significantly in the development of each particular story. To solve this conflict, is necessary to admit that the end product is a result of a collaboration. At the moment, the only way to preserve the “author rights” and the final goal of the application was to include a human mediator, in representation of the author, who took part as a moderator during the interaction and the generation of the story.

In our work the foundations of narratives (both sequential and multisequential) are studied, including diverse techniques for integrating interactive storytelling in the computer:  interfaces in natural language, interactor modeling, dramatic control of story, simulation of virtual worlds and intelligent characters. As implementation, we are designing a system for automatic conduction of interactive digital narratives, inspired by the role-playing game masters and their construction of stories in a creative and player-oriented way. In order to illustrate its utility we propose a text adventure that uses our automatic story conductor.

Research Projects

In these projects we are applying Artificial Intelligence techniques like Case-Based Reasoning and Description Logics Ontologies for knowledge representation. The domains of our applications are entertainment, education and narratology.

  • Interative Digital Storytelling
    • KIIDS is the Knowledge-intensive Interactive Digital Storytelling system that I am coding for my PhD thesis. It will be able to conduct multiform stories in an interactive way, preserving the plot and the interactor’s illusion of freedom. 
      (Beca Predoctoral UCM) January 2003 to December 2006.
    • Crossroads in Middle-Earth (KIIDS application) is a multiplayer fantasy game, which adventures are automatically generated and directed by the system.
    • GM-UML is a UML model of an Interactive Digital Storytelling system inspired in a human Role-Playing Game Master.
    • Game Guru is a pedagogical graphic adventure for teaching how the videogame industry works.
  • Computational Narratology & Creativity
    • Bard is an automatic storytelling application, easy to use and extend to different creative domains.
    • Research stay and collaboration with the Story Generator Algorithms project of the Narratology Research Group in the University of Hamburg.
      (Hamburg, Germany) 23th May 2005 to 3rd July 2005.
    • ProtoPropp (KIIDS application) is an automatic generator of Russian fairy-tales based on the narrative functions of Vladimir Propp. Propp identifies 31 morphological functions of these tales in his book “Morphology of the FolkTale” from 1968.
    • Suzanne & Zu! (KIIDS application) is a technical & artistical proposal on Semiautomatic Generation of TV Cartoon’s Plots, presented at Ciberart 2004 (Bilbao, Spain). 
    • Minstrel Reloaded is a partial reimplementation of Minstrel, the classic case-based story generator.
  • Others
    • DLApplication is a framework for dealing with Description Logics that uses DLModel.
    • DLModel is an API for accesing a Description Logic model, implemented in an external ontological system (such as those used in the Semantic Web).
    • RCEI is a Remote-Controlled Environments Interface, that allows communication between intelligent systems and a virtual environments.
    • Collaborations with my colleagues of NIL, Natural Interaction based on Language research group
    • Arcano project on Case-based Framework Documentation and its Example-led Learning
      (CICYT, TIC2002-01961) October 2002 to October 2005
    • Member of the Computational Linguistics Group

Perhaps the next Shakespeare of this world will be a great live-action role-playing GM [Game Master] who is also an expert computer scientist. 
Janet H. Murray, Hamlet on the Holodeck, MIT Press, 1997 (p.152)