History of Procedural Expression

computers have been used expressively since their inception, but there is sadly a lack of historical knowledge about many of the pioneering projects in this vein. I'm currently working to excavate the forgotten early history of areas such as text generation, story generation, branching narrative, and videogames. In this spirit, Mark Nelson and I recently launched a new initiative to celebrate the History of Expressive Systems.

"Grimes' Fairy Tales: A 1960s Story Generator"

>James Ryan. 10th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2017).

"Translation of 'La SimulaciĆ³n'"

>Joseph E. Grimes, Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera, and James Ryan (2017).

"1st Workshop on the History of Expressive Systems"

>James Ryan and Mark J. Nelson. 10th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2017).


Expressive SIMULATION

I'm passionate about character-centric approaches to simulation, and simulationist approaches to character (especially in the context of games). By 'character-centric', I mean approaches that go beyond social simulation by also modeling the inner lives of characters.

"Simulating Character Knowledge Phenomena in Talk of the Town"

>James Ryan and Michael Mateas. Game AI Pro 3 (2017).

"Generating American Small Towns for Narrative Applications"

>James Ryan. 1st Workshop on Tutorials in Intelligent Narrative Technologies (2016).

"Juke Joint: Characters Who Are Moved By Music"

>James Ryan, Tyler Brothers, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 3rd Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (2016).

"Juke Joint: A Demo"

>Tyler Brothers and James Ryan. 3rd Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (2016).

"Diegetically Grounded Evolution of Gameworld Languages"

>James Ryan. 7th Workshop on Procedural Content Generation (2016).

"A Simple Method for Evolving Large Character Social Networks"

>James Ryan, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 5th Workshop on Social Believability in Games (2016).

"Toward Characters Who Observe, Tell, Misremember, and Lie"

>James Ryan, Adam Summerville, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 2nd Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (2015).


PROCEDURAL DIALOGUE

Much of my research concerns the development of new technologies that will enable procedural conversation in games and other computational media. By this, I mean interaction patterns where players speak freely and characters understand and respond meaningfully using expressive generated content.

"Analyzing Expressionist Grammars by Reduction to Symbolic Visibly Pushdown Automata"

>Joseph C. Osborn, James Ryan, and Michael Mateas. 10th Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies (2017).

"Expressionist: An Authoring Tool for In-Game Text Generation" 

>James Ryan, Ethan Seither, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2016).

"Characters Who Speak Their Minds: Dialogue Generation in Talk of the Town"

>James Ryan, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 12th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (2016).

"Translating Player Dialogue into Meaning Representations Using LSTMs"

>James Ryan, Adam J. Summerville, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 16th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (2016).

"CFGs-2-NLU: Sequence-to-Sequence Learning for Mapping Utterances to Semantics and Pragmatics"

>Adam J. Summerville, James Ryan, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. Technical Report UCSC-SOE-16-11 (2016).

"A Lightweight Videogame Dialogue Manager"

>James Ryan, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 1st Joint International Conference of DiGRA and FDG (2016).

"Generative Character Conversations for Background Believability and Storytelling"

>James Ryan, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 5th Workshop on Social Believability in Games (2016).

"Toward Natural Language Generation by Humans"

>James Ryan, Andrew Max Fisher, Taylor Owen-Milner, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 8th Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies and 4th Workshop on Social Believability in Games (2015).

Combinatorial Dialogue Authoring"

>James Ryan, Casey Barackman, Nick Kontje, Taylor Owen-Milner, Marilyn A. Walker, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 7th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2014).

"Automating Direct Speech Variations in Stories and Games"

>Stephanie M. Lukin, James Ryan, Marilyn A. Walker. 3rd Workshop on Games and NLP (2014).

"Toward Recombinant Dialogue in Interactive Narrative"

>James Ryan, Marilyn Walker, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 7th Workshop on Intelligent Narrative Technologies (2014).


INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING

As a researcher and practitioner, I'm interested in interactive storytelling. This medium is characterized by new kinds of interactive narrative experiences that are fundamentally enabled by computation. Here, I'm particularly interested in emergent narrative, and my best known project is Bad News, a collaboration with Ben Samuel and Adam Summerville.

"Bad News: An Experiment in Computationally Assisted Performance"

>Benjamin Samuel, James Ryan, Adam Summerville, Michael Mateas and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2016).

"Recognizing Coherent Narrative Blog Content"

>James Ryan and Reid Swanson. 9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2016).

"Playable Experiences at AIIDE 2016"

>Alexander Zook, Michael Cook, Eric Butler, Kristin Siu, Matthew Guzdial, Mark Riedl, James Ryan, Ben Samuel, Adam Summerville, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 12th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment (2016).

"Computatrum Personae: Toward a Role-Based Taxonomy of (Computationally Assisted) Performance"

>Benjamin Samuel, James Ryan, Adam Summerville, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 3rd Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (2016).

"Bad News: A Game of Death and Communication"

>James Ryan, Adam Summerville, and Ben Samuel. 34th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2016).

"Open Design Challenges for Interactive Emergent Narrative"

>James Ryan, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 8th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling (2015).

"Bad News: A Computationally Assisted Live-Action Prototype to Guide Content Creation"

>James Ryan, Ben Samuel, Adam Summerville, and Jonathan Lessard. 2nd Workshop on Experimental AI in Games (2015).

"Generating Natural Language Retellings from Prom Week Play Traces"

>Christopher Antoun, Matthew Antoun, James Ryan, Ben Samuel, Reid Swanson, and Marilyn Walker. 6th Workshop on Procedural Content Generation (2015).


GAME STUDIES via NLP + dataviz

One slice of my research output has explored the use of techniques from natural language processing and machine learning in the context of game studies, an area that more typically features research methods from the humanities. much of this work has produced interactive visualizations, like GameSpace.

"GameSpace: An Explorable Visualization of the Videogame Medium"

>James Ryan, Eric Kaltman, Andrew Max Fisher, Taylor Owen-Milner, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. Technical Report UCSC-SOE-17-14 (2017).

"GameNet and GameSage: Videogame Discovery as Design Insight"

>James Ryan, Eric Kaltman, Timothy Hong, Katherine Isbister, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 1st Joint International Conference of DiGRA and FDG (2016).

"What We Talk About When We Talk About Games: Bottom-Up Game Studies Using Natural Language Processing"

>James Ryan, Eric Kaltman, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2015).

"People Tend to Like Related Games"

>James Ryan, Eric Kaltman, Timothy Hong, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2015).

"Augmented Exploration of Library Videogame Holdings by Techniques from Computational Linguistics" 

>Glynn Edwards, Eric Kaltman, James Ryan, Timothy Hong, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 9th Annual Society of American Archivists Science, Technology, and Healthcare Roundtable (2015).

"A Typology of Verbs Culled From 23,000 Videogame Walkthroughs"

>James Ryan and Sergiy Ravnyago. 1st Joint International Conference of DiGRA and FDG (2016).

"Tools for Videogame Discovery Built Using Latent Semantic Analysis"

>James Ryan, Eric Kaltman, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2015).

"Large-Scale Visualizations of Nearly 12,000 Digital Games"

>James Ryan, Eric Kaltman, Andrew M. Fisher, Timothy Hong, Taylor Owen-Milner, Michael Mateas, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin. 10th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2015).


CLINICAL NLP

aS AN UNDERGRADUATE AND MASTER'S STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, I WORKED WITH A GROUP OF RESEARCHERS WHO APPLY TECHNIQUES FROM NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING IN THE CLINICAL DOMAIN. My work in this area included the creation of a tool called VFClust, which continues to be used in ongoing research.

"A Computational Analysis of Verbal Fluency in Schizophrenia"

>Jacqueline Roig, Megan Ichinose, James Ryan, Seok Jin Hong, and Sohee Park. 16th International Conference on Schizophrenia Research (2017).

"White Matter Correlates of Semantic Fluency in Parkinson's Disease"

>Megan Ichinose, Kendra E. Hinton, James Ryan, Andrew J. Plassard, Jacqueline Roig, David H. Zald, Bennett A. Landman, Sohee Park, Daniel O. Claassen, and Scott A. Wylie. 71st Annual Meeting of the Society for Biological Psychiatry (2016).

"Domain Adaption of Parsing for Operative Notes"

>Yan Wang, Serguei Pakhomov, James Ryan, and Genevieve B. Melton. Journal of Biomedical Informatics (2015).

"A Sense Inventory for Clinical Abbreviations and Acronyms Created Using Clinical Notes and Medical Dictionary Resources"

>SungRim Moon, Serguei Pakhomov, Nathan Liu, James Ryan, and Genevieve B. Melton. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (2014).

"A System for Computerized Analysis of Verbal Fluency Tests"

>James Ryan. (Master's thesis). University of Minnesota (2013).

"Computerized Analysis of a Verbal Fluency Test"

>James Ryan, Serguei Pakhomov, Susan Marino, Charles Bernick, and Sarah Banks. 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (2013).

"A Study of Actions in Operative Notes"

>Yan Wang, Serguei Pakhomov, Nora E. Burkart, James Ryan, and Genevieve B. Melton. American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium (2012).

"Automated Non-Alphanumeric Symbol Resolution in Clinical Texts"

>SungRim Moon, Serguei Pakhomov, James Ryan, and Genevieve B. Melton. American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium (2011).