Computer Games

Research into computer games involves both real-time programs for strategic game-playing (such as classic board and card games) as well as programs to meet the needs of the commercial games industry (including working with industrial partners such as BioWare and Inflexion). Although our passion is to demonstrate new technologies in game-playing programs, the research is more general and has found applications in areas as diverse as robotics, civil engineering, and bioinformatics.

Research Groups

  • GAMES Group: involves game-playing, analytical methods, minimax search and empirical studies.
  • Boardgames Research Group: develops high performance search algorithms and game playing programs such as Fuego, the first Go program to beat a top human player in 9x9 Go.
  • Intelligent Reasoning Critiguing and Learning (IRCL) Group: conducts Artificial Intelligence research on real-time heuristic search, interactive story-telling and cognitive modelling. Our recent applications have been with video games. We have on-going collaborations with the Department of Psychology, UBC Okanagan, Reykjavik University and Disney Research.
  • Poker Research Group: works on creating computer programs that play poker better than any human being, as a testbed for furthering science.


Discussion: AlphaGo and the Future of Computer Games

Researchers at the Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, discuss the history of ideas and achievements of computer games, and the implications for the future of computer games, machine learning, and computing science.