UCT for Tactical Assault Planning in Real-Time Strategy Games

We consider the problem of tactical assault planning in real-time strategy games where a team of friendly agents must launch an assault on an enemy. This problem offers many challenges including a highly dynamic and uncertain environment, multiple agents, durative actions, numeric attributes, and different optimization objectives. While the dynamics of this problem are quite complex, it is often possible to provide or learn a coarse simulation-based model of a tactical domain, which makes Monte-Carlo planning an attractive approach. In this paper, we investigate the use of UCT, a recent Monte-Carlo planning algorithm for this problem. UCT has recently shown impressive successes in the area of games, particularly Go, but has not yet been considered in the context of multi-agent tactical planning. We discuss the challenges of adapting UCT to our domain and an implementation which allows for the optimization of user specified objective functions. We present an evaluation of our approach on a range of tactical assault problems with different objectives in the RTS game Wargus. The results indicate that our planner is able to generate superior plans compared to several baselines and a human player.

Radha-Krishna Balla, Alan Fern