Marc Lanctot's (OLD!) Web Page

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  Email : marc [dot] lanctot [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca
  Schedule for Winter 2006:  

    Day        Time            Activity          Location
  -------  ------------   ------------------  ---------------
    Mon    12:30-13:30    Teaching COMP202     Trottier 0100
           13:30-17:30    Working @ AOS        Burnside 847
    Tue    8:30-10:00     Teaching COMP102     Trottier 0070
           10:00-17:00    Working @ AOS        Burnside 847
           17:00-18:30    Office Hours         McConnell 234
    Wed    12:30-13:30    Teaching COMP202     Trottier 0100
           13:30-17:30    Working @ AOS        Burnside 847
    Thu    8:30-10:00     Teaching COMP102     Trottier 0070
           10:00-17:00    Working @ AOS        Burnside 847
    Fri    8:30-12:30     Working @ AOS        Burnside 847
           12:30-13:30    Teaching COMP202     Trottier 0100
           13:30-15:00    Office Hours         McConnell 234
"If a web site was given the task to describe me, part of the output would be the following: however, asking a website to describe a person is silly and meaningless."

About me (short version)

I recently (May 2005) obtained my Master's degree in Computer Science. I am applying to do a PhD starting Sept. 2006 at the University of Alberta, probably on the topic of AI/Learning in real-time multi-agent systems, such as RTS games.
I am part of the Games Research @ McGill (gr@m) Lab.
I am no longer system administrator for the Sable Research Lab.
I am no longer a Linux system administrator/programmer for Ubisoft. Before that, I worked for NCS.
I am teaching and have taught COMP 102 and COMP 202.
I now work as a system administrator for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.
You can also catch me: slacking off in the lab, organizing programming competitions, writing my thesis, or teaching COMP202.

About me

my projects

my cv
my profile
my courses
quote of the hour
my thesis supervisor
my Slackware 8.* installation instructions for (soon to be ex-)Windows users
a rumour unraveled: why d&d warps the minds of our children

Academic Interests

Non-Academic interests, Volunteering, Leisure & Fun

Current Research Work

Master's thesis abstract:

Most modern computer games provide a virtual environment as a context for player interaction. Recently, many multi-player online games have adopted the persistent-state gaming model, which provides a central virtual environment with essentially infinite lifetime. However, a displeasing part of these long-lasting environments is that, like their predecessors, they are still assumed to be static, unchanging even in the long-term. In response to this fact, we introduce the adaptive virtual environment which automatically adapts based on activity occurring within the environment. In computer games, adaptive virtual environments are systems that correspond to real-world physical or social systems. These systems are computationally formalized by adhering to a generic adaptation model containing abstract components and procedures. Herein, as a proof of concept, we design and analyze the behavior of two adaptive versions of such systems commonly found in persistent-state games. To achieve this, we build an implementation of an abstract interactive simulator that applies the adaptation process to our example systems. Each system is internally represented as a plug-in module containing system-specific implementations of the model's abstractly-defined procedures. Performance of the adaptation process is then evaluated using simulation data. Finally, improvements such as optimizations and better movement models for agent simulation are investigated, and the general usefulness and applicability of the concepts is discussed.

Download (warning: currently pending final approval)
[pdf] [ps.gz]

Ph.D. abstract (proposal):

Many modern games are based in a continuous-time and 2D continuous-state environment. Examples include most sports, 3D shooters, RPGs, strategic war simulations, etc. This non-discrete environment is often hard to work with due to the inconvenience of infinite amount of information in contiuous spaces. An interesting research task would be to try to measure the "goodness" of a particular position in these games; essentially searching for a meaningful evaluation function for these continuous state snapshots. This can be done by using basic intuitions from Pattern Recognition theory: define features of a snapshot based on piece configuration and other geometric properties such as region of influence, line-of-sight, etc. We can then use the values of the measures as feature values to apply decision theory and/or learning methods to determine which of these features are more relevent to the current goals (eg. winning). I suspect that the results would vary not only between games but also at different time points in the same game, and that worthwhile conclusions about these games could be derived from the results of this analysis.

I am still uncertain of what I want to do precisely as I am also interested generally in the quantification of strategy in games (including opponent-modelling) as well as collaberative and communicative agents.



Here's a list of people I respect. Whether they be friends, family, profs, they've all helped me get through this long, stressful part of the highway we call life.

Clark Verbrugge (hij die zwarte draagt)
Without him, I most definitely would have "lost" my thesis by now!
Francis Perron (der sonderling des bewohners debian linux)
Long live Toomba. He never really died, the DM rolled a 20..
Christian Lavoie (o guy com o cabelo)
I honestly made this guy run from his appartment to the department of Comp Sci-- in 7 minutes. True story.
Mini-Marc GB (il mio gopher gemellare)
"A duck." ... "Exactly!". "So, if she weighs the same as a duck... then she's made of wood!"
Alexandre Denault (de georganiseerde kerel)
The best person to have in a group project.
Sokhom Pheng (il cambodian timido)
Irwin Chiu Hau (der kerl niemand kann verstehen)
I've learned quite a few Linux tricks from him.
Chris Wu (meu camarada 531)
This guy could speak faster than I could think.
Miriam Zia (da gringa mexicana, apodo m33r)
Straight from the Assyrian empire!
W.I.P. (West Island Psychos)
It's almost like we grew up together..