Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Wissensmanagement in der Bioinformatik

Modul General Game Playing

Sebastian Wandelt



General Game Playing (GGP) deals with the design of artificial intelligence programs which are able to play more than one kind of game successfully without changing their code. While there exist sophisticated, highly-specialized programs for solving particular games, e.g. chess or Rubik's cube, general game playing is still in its infancy: the success of a GGP program depends basically on the intelligence of the program, and not just on the intelligence of the programmer.

In this course, we will investigate the fundamental parts of artificial intelligence relevant for building agents that can play arbitrary games, presented in a variant of knowledge interchange format (KIF; developed at Stanford University). During the lecture, theoretical background is provided on top ics as knowledge representation, reasoning, learning, and rational behavior. As practical work, students will develop their own GGP programs.

During the course there will be two competitions between the students' implementations: a midterm competition (ensuring on-time progress of all implementations) and a final competition. In each competition, students' programs will compete against each other in previously unseen 1/2/3-player games.

The main pedagogical value of the course is the implementation of a GGP program, which requires understanding and implementation of the concepts from the lecture. It is planned that students work in groups of 2-3 students. This is subject to change, depending on the number of participants.

The course will be taught in english. The first lecture/exercise session will take place in the second week (22.10.2013).


Prerequisites for attending this module are basic knowledge in logic and good programming skills.


Written/oral, depending on the number of students. You can get credit points for

  • Master/Diplom Informatik, 8 SP
  • Master Wirtschaftsinformatik, 8 SP
Credit points for other degree programs are possible (on request).

Time slots for examination:

Reserved slots are crossed out!
  • 11.02.2014: 9:00,9:30,10:00,10:30,11:00,11:30,12:30,13:00,13:30,14:00,14:30,15:00
  • 25.02.2014: 9:00,9:30,10:00,10:30,11:00,11:30,12:30,13:00,13:30,14:00,14:30,15:00

Topics and Slides

Slides will be available as PDF. Parts of the slides are taken from the teaching resources website of Below is a rough outline. Changes are possible without further notice.

  1. 22.10.2013: Introduction, Repetition propositional logic and first-order logic
  2. 29.10.2013: Datalog and Prolog
  3. 05.11.2013: Game Description Language, Interaction with game server
  4. 12.11.2013: Design of GDL games
  5. 19.11.2013: Search algorithms 1
  6. 03.12.2013: Search algorithms 2
  7. 10.12.2013: Real GGP 1
  8. 17.12.2013: Midterm Competition
  9. 07.01.2014: Real GGP 2
  10. 13.01.2014: Behind the Scenes of FluxPlayer
  11. 21.01.2014: State of the art, Summary
  12. 28.01.2014: No lecture, please work on your implementation!
  13. 04.02.2014: Final Competiton
  14. 11.02.2014: Exam

Additional Material