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Learning Behavior Trees for Autonomous Agents with Hybrid Constraints Evolution

College of Systems Engineering, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410073, Hunan, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(7), 1077;
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-Agent Systems)
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In modern training, entertainment and education applications, behavior trees (BTs) have already become a fantastic alternative to finite state machines (FSMs) in modeling and controlling autonomous agents. However, it is expensive and inefficient to create BTs for various task scenarios manually. Thus, the genetic programming (GP) approach has been devised to evolve BTs automatically but only received limited success. The standard GP approaches to evolve BTs fail to scale up and to provide good solutions, while GP approaches with domain-specific constraints can accelerate learning but need significant knowledge engineering effort. In this paper, we propose a modified approach, named evolving BTs with hybrid constraints (EBT-HC), to improve the evolution of BTs for autonomous agents. We first propose a novel idea of dynamic constraint based on frequent sub-trees mining, which can accelerate evolution by protecting preponderant behavior sub-trees from undesired crossover. Then we introduce the existing ‘static’ structural constraint into our dynamic constraint to form the evolving BTs with hybrid constraints. The static structure can constrain expected BT form to reduce the size of the search space, thus the hybrid constraints would lead more efficient learning and find better solutions without the loss of the domain-independence. Preliminary experiments, carried out on the Pac-Man game environment, show that the hybrid EBT-HC outperforms other approaches in facilitating the BT design by achieving better behavior performance within fewer generations. Moreover, the generated behavior models by EBT-HC are human readable and easy to be fine-tuned by domain experts. View Full-Text
Keywords: Behavior Trees (BTs); Genetic Programming (GP); autonomous agents; behavior modeling; tree mining Behavior Trees (BTs); Genetic Programming (GP); autonomous agents; behavior modeling; tree mining

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Zhang, Q.; Yao, J.; Yin, Q.; Zha, Y. Learning Behavior Trees for Autonomous Agents with Hybrid Constraints Evolution. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 1077.

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