Reimplementation of Minstrel, the Classic Story Generator

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Minstrel Reloaded, Reimplementation of the Classic Story Generator

Federico Peinado and Pablo Gervás

Minstrel Reloaded is a review of a old story generation system called Minstrel. It uses complex but hand-crafted Lisp knowledge structures to generate short computer-generated stories within the King Arthur’s domain. 

The purpose of this project is to reimplement the knowledge representation model of Minstrel using a W3C standard language to analyze the pros and cons of technology updates over this classic AI project.

Picture: How Sir Bedivere Cast the Sword Excalibur into the Water by Aubrey Beardsley, from Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory (London: Dent, 1894).

Minstrel was developed in the late 1980s by Scott R. Turner. It is a stand-alone application for the automatic generation of short tales set in the universe of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Focusing on creative heuristics and well known problem-solving methods Turner presents exciting results claiming that simple but powerful reasoning mechanisms manipulating big amounts of knowledge will lead us to more intelligent systems.


A partial reimplementation of Minstrel, the classic story generator, has been done, focusing on knowledge representation. The OWL version is divided in two files: MinstrelOnto, the OWL DL ontology that include concepts and roles about Planning and King Arthur’s domain, and MinstrelKB, a demo knowledge base with some individuals.

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