Influencing User Choices in Interactive Narratives using Indexter’s Pairwise Event Salience Hypothesis

Indexter is a plan-based model of narrative that incorporates cognitive scientific theories about the salience—or prominence in memory—of narrative events. A pair of Indexter events can share up to five indices with one another: protagonist, time, space, causality, and intentionality. The pairwise event salience hypothesis states that a past event is more salient if it shares one or more of these indices with the most recently narrated event. In a previous study we used this model to predict users’ choices in an interactive story based on the indices of prior events. We now show that we can use the same method to influence them to make certain choices. In this study, participants read an interactive story with two possible endings. We influenced them to choose a particular ending by manipulating the salience of story events. We showed that users significantly favored the targeted ending.

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Rachelyn Farrell, Stephen G. Ware. Influencing user choices in interactive narratives using Indexter’s pairwise event salience hypothesis. In Proceedings of the 13th AAAI International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment, pp. 37-42, 2017.
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Asking Hypothetical Questions about Stories using QUEST

Many computational models of narrative include representations of possible worlds—events that never actually occur in the story but that are planned or perceived by the story’s characters. Psychological tools such as QUEST are often used to validate computational models of narrative, but they only represent events which are explicitly narrated in the story. In this paper, we demonstrate that audiences can and do reason about other possible worlds when experiencing a narrative, and that the Quest knowledge structures for each possible world can be treated as a single data structure. Participants read a short text story and were asked hypothetical questions that prompted them to consider alternative endings. When asked about events that needed to change as a result of the hypothetical, they produced answers that were consistent with answers generated by QUEST from a different version of the story.  When asked about unrelated events, their answers matched those generated by QUEST from the version of the story they read.

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Rachelyn Farrell, Scott Robertson, Stephen G. Ware. Asking hypothetical questions about stories using QUEST. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, pp. 136-146, 2016.

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Predicting User Choices in Interactive Narratives using Indexter’s Pairwise Event Salience Hypothesis

Indexter is a plan-based model of narrative that incorporates cognitive scientific theories about the salience of narrative events. A pair of Indexter events can share up to five indices with one another: protagonist, time, space, causality, and intentionality. The pairwise event salience hypothesis states that when a past event shares one or more of these indices with the most recently narrated event, that past event is more salient, or easier to recall, than an event which shares none of them. In this study we demonstrate that we can predict user choices based on the salience of past events. Specifically, we investigate the hypothesis that when users are given a choice between two events in an interactive narrative, they are more likely to choose the one which makes the previous events in the story more salient according to this theory.

Full Paper:

PDF

Playable:

The story used for this study is here!

Citation:

Rachelyn Farrell, Stephen G. Ware. Predicting user choices in interactive narratives using Indexter’s pairwise event salience hypothesis. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, pp. 147-155, 2016.

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