Narrative Group

Research Lead: Andrew Gordon

The Narrative Group at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies pursues basic and applied research to advance technologies for automated storytelling and narrative understanding.

Core technologies include logical abduction reasoning with large-scale formalizations of commonsense knowledge, generative AI models for content creation, and the integration of neural, probabilistic, and symbolic reasoning methods.

Applications of these technologies include automated interpretation of movies and other sorts of time-series data, the rapid generation of simulated environments and training scenarios, and creative tools that enable small teams of filmmakers to create movies that rival those of much larger production crews.

Current projects:

Repurposing Ensembles of Pretrained Models for Novel Tasks (FY 2023-2024)
With the proliferation of trained models for wide-ranging tasks, there is increasing interest in methods for adapting and reusing existing models in new contexts. This project explores whether ensembles out-of-domain models can be applied in novel tasks without fine-tuning, by exploiting probabilistic information that can be gleaned from confusion matrices between in-domain and out-of-domain labels.

Interpretation-Guided Autonomous Forces (FY 2022-24)
The Interpretation-Guided Autonomous Forces project aims to develop technologies for automatically selecting the most appropriate behavior for autonomous forces in virtual environments based on interpretations of the scenario context and terrain features, enabling disaggregation of simulated aggregate units, rapid scenario creation, and drag-and-drop AI forces.

Current Members:

Andrew S. Gordon (lead)

Andrew Feng, Associate Director of Geospatial Research

Doctoral students:

Melissa Roemmele, Ph.D. May 2018. Thesis: “Neural Networks for Narrative Continuation”

Christopher Wienberg. Ph.D. May 2017. Thesis: “Demographic Bias Correction for Social Media Data”

Reid Swanson. Ph.D. May 2010. Thesis: “Enabling Open Domain Interactive Storytelling Using a Data-Driven Case-Based Approach”

Web applications:

Heider-Simmel Interactive Theater: Make your own movies, write your own stories. Read More

Triangle Charades: It’s charades on the web, but you are a triangle. Read More

Data-driven Interactive Narrative Engine: Free-text interactive fiction. Read More