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PRESS RELEASE

Dwango's Motion Generation Technology for Artificial Life
Technical Demo to be Exhibited at SIGGRAPH 2018 Studio Area
~Also Available in Open Source~

Dwango Co., Ltd.
August 8th, 2018
   

 Tokyo, Japan (August 8th, 2018) -- Dwango Co., Ltd. (http://info.kadokawadwango.co.jp/english/index.html), the operator for Japan's largest social video website Niconico, has announced that they will be exhibiting at the annual CG conference SIGGRAPH 2018 held at Vancouver, Canada during August 12th-16th. At the venue’s STUDIO area, Dwango will display a technical demonstration of their ‘Real-Time Motion Generation for Imaginary Creatures Using Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning’ developed by researchers at Dwango Media Village, one of Dwango’s department focused on the research and development of machine learning technology.

 SIGGRAPH is recognized to be the world’s largest and most prestigious conference for the publication of computer graphics and is held annually in North America. At the conference, where the latest innovations involving computer graphics gather, the Steven A. Coons Award, which is equivalent of the Nobel Prize, is given to researchers that made continuous dedications to the CG industry.
 Visitors at Dwango’s booth can get a hands-on experience at breeding artificial life on a computer simulator. Additionally, prior to the conference, Dwango has partially released this technology as open source enabling users to experience some of the activities available at the booth.

Research Results to be Exhibited at SIGGRAPH 2018

 Dwango has been involved in the fundamental research of artificial life - beginning with the development of autonomous learning artificial creature `Life in Silico (LIS)’ and also the organization of Artificial Life Hackathon where participants compete with each other on how they customize LIS. As part of this ongoing research, researchers at Dwango developed and published ‘Real-Time Motion Generation for Imaginary Creatures Using Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning’.

 This research proposes a deep reinforcement learning methodology which enables imaginary creatures to learn how to move their bodies according to their environment in real-time. Generally, high-performance servers are required to manage the computation costs involved in a simulation where an imaginary creature attempts to learn how to move in real-time while moving inside their environment. This research enabled each learner to efficiently learn each subject reducing the complexity of reinforcement learning. This was made possible by dividing the simulator into 2 different parts - the Motion-Maker which utilizes a relatively simple search algorithm to enable creatures to learn how to move and the Decision-Maker which decides high-level action such as “swarming” or ”eating”. Simulations, which involve tens of creatures attempting to learn how to move in real-time, can now be operated on a mobile device.

 In a simulation of imaginary creatures with a different type of body structures, observers can examine how creatures learn to move. Some movements defy conventional human wisdom and such finding are expected to lead to insights which can be applied to fields such as animations or computer gaming.

 At Dwango’s SIGGRAPH booth, visitors can mix artificial life together to create an original creature on a simulator and observe how these creatures learn to move and adapt to its surrounding environment. Each imaginary creature created at the booth can all be exported into one server - enabling visitors to observe their imaginary creatures interacting with one another. The open source edition enables user to create and raise an artificial life with game development platform Unity. (for details, check OSS Project "RLCreature" Download Page)

■Project Page Links

・Real-Time Motion Generation for Imaginary Creatures Using Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning - Project Page : https://dmv.nico/en/casestudy/rlcreature/
・Paper : https://dmv.nico/assets/img/casestudy/alife/siggraph2018_alife.pdf
・Video : http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/so33629687
・OSS Project “RLCreature” Download Page : https://github.com/dwango/RLCreature

■Related Links

・SIGGRAPH 2018 Official Website : https://s2018.siggraph.org/conference/conference-overview/studio/studio-installations/
・LIS (Life in Silico) : https://github.com/wbap/lis