The Virtual Storyteller is a multi-agent framework for automatic story
generation. It creates stories based on the actions of autonomous
agents who live in a simulated story world.
Video explaining the Virtual
In the Virtual Storyteller, automatic story generation is carried out
in two stages: Simulation (the content of the story is created
by means of the multi-agent system) and Presentation (the story
content is expressed in natural language and (optionally) told by a
speaking embodied agent). The system architecture looks as follows:
The agents involved in the simulation stage are
Character Agents inhabiting the Story World and
performing actions there. They have individual emotions, beliefs,
and can make plans to achieve their goals.
World Agent responsible for keeping track of
the current state of the Story World. It processes actions from the
Character Agents and updates the world accordingly.
Plot Agent intermediating between the Character Agents and
the World Agent, and creates a formal representation of the story
content called the fabula. The fabula forms the basis for the next
stage of story generation: presentation.
The Narrator is responsible for converting the
formal content representation (the fabula) to a natural language text.
Tasks include mapping story elements to sentences, combining these
sentences using proper cue words ("because", "but", etc.), choosing
suitable referring expressions ("Diana", "the beautiful princess",
"she"), and ensuring proper morphology and word order.
The story can be presented to the user in the form of text, but it can
also be actually told to the user. To this end, rules have been
designed that convert standard synthesized speech to storytelling
speech. Listen to the difference between the following synthetic
Recently an interactive version of the Virtual Storyteller has been
developed. It has a graphical multi-touch interface allowing human
users to control one or more characters. It has been tested in
experiments with children using a multitouch table.
Students interested in working on the Virtual Storyteller for a Capita
Selecta, Research Topics or Masters thesis, or others who would like
to know more about the Virtual Storyteller, please contact Mariët Theune.